Instagram causing health issues

By NT Bureau Published on Jul 31, 2018 12:22 PM IST

London: It was revealed today that a growing number of young women are now deficient in vital nutrients, as a result of trendy diets made popular by social media.

Experts have warned that women in their 20s and 30s now lack key minerals such as potassium, magnesium and copper. This is particularly bad news for women who are already deficient in iron, calcium and iodine. Many Britons who follow social media are increasingly cutting out ingredients such as gluten, dairy, grains or sugar.

The most obvious 'exclusion diet' is vegetarianism, cutting out both meat and fish. Experts now worry that people who follow social media are confused by these diet trends, neurotic about food and unsure about what they should and shouldn't be eating.

Based on the data from 3,238 adults who took part in Public Health England's National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the report found that the average woman is falling short on a shocking seven out of eight key minerals, with the average man falling short on five out of eight. This severe lack in minerals and nutrients can lead to fatigue, weakened immune systems, weak bones, muscle problems and even infertility.

The Government and NHS both insist that a balanced diet is enough to provide the nutrients we need. Also suggested, is taking a vitamin D supplement in the winter and folic acid during pregnancy.

'Avoidance of food groups is very trendy at the moment but if you follow these diets you need to work very hard to make sure you get the right nutrients," says nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire.

Worst culprit

Instagram has in fact been ranked as having the worst effect on young people's mental health.

In a survey of almost 1,500 Britons aged 14 to 24, The Royal Society for Public Health found that young people were most likely to feel depressed and lonely after using the app, as well as associating it with negative attributes and low self-esteem, resulting in poor body image and lack of sleep. However, it doesn't end there.

More specifically, a recent study by University College London found a link between high Instagram use and the eating disorder orthorexia nervosa.

Scrolling through a feed of green smoothies and yoga posing is beginning to show evidence of leaving a damaging mark. Researchers surveyed 680 females with an average healthy BMI about what social media they use and how often.

They also asked which of 19 food types the ate, and used a questionnaire to assess how many orthorexic symptoms they possess.

In the publication on the National Library of Medicine, they concluded that high Instagram use is associated with a greater tendency towards orthorexia nervosa (ON), and interestingly, no other social media platform has the same effect.