#cosamangioinungiorno # quadiadia o #fulldayofeating are some of the hashtags through which you come across users, nutritionists, personal trainers who show or recommend the diet they follow. Together they constitute the niche of the ‘influential in health‘. A good thing, a bad one? We asked him Dra. Carla Graziosihe graduated in Dietetics from La Sapienza University in Rome.
Often on social media, particularly on TikTok, we find videos like, “What I Eat in a Day.” How do you assess this phenomenon that is spreading? Can it have any benefit or not?
Given that I’m not even on TikTok, the dietitian began, I find it unbelievable that simple users even hint at making suggestions the days of eating. Among other things, the girls in the videos in question are also visibly too thin and of course what they eat doesn’t even reach 1500 calories a day (which is well below the requirements for their age). So in my opinion, these videos are not entirely useful, in fact I would say uneducated.
There are also several nutritionists who use the platform to give dietary advice, sometimes even with clips showing the “8 foods to lose weight in a hurry”. Isn’t there a risk that such content will spread reducing or even wrong messages? And if so, what kind?
As for the videos of fellow nutritionists, I find that if they are made consciously, they can represent a compass to navigate the sea of news – mostly false and biased – that can be found on the net. Of course, these videos should always conform to generic guidelines and never define anything in an absolute way, as each person is unique and dietary recommendations should always be customized. If the professional is such, he should not spread wrong messages. But this, unfortunately, lies in the professionalism and preparation of each.
Personal trainers are also included in the circle of ‘health influencers’, but it is not certain that they have taken a nutrition-related course. Could it be harmful to users, especially considering the general age of youth of those who use social media?
I am very categorical with personal trainers: they cannot, in any way, give nutritional advice. They should limit themselves to giving indications as to what belongs to them. On the other hand, I would never dream of preparing a training schedule. Of course, I always recommend practicing movement (within the limits of people’s physical possibilities) and trusting a good coach. Several times I have received young guys from the studio who have returned from high dietary advice, provided to gyms. Recommending diets too strict or restrictive towards certain foods or suggesting the use of protein supplements, frankly useless in most cases.
Summer has just begun and in all likelihood, images of this kind will be augmented by the famous ‘costume dress’. From your point of view, do you notice an increase in patients facing the summer? Does it make sense to follow a diet just for that “purpose”?
Probably the period of the months of May-June is the most “crowded” of people who want to lose weight in the face of the ‘costume test’. I try to explain that you lose weight by changing your lifestyle and without starving for two months. It makes sense to start following a diet in this period if we understand the ‘costume test’ as a start, a restart, a path to a change, in fact, of that lifestyle that will lead us to achieve (and maintain) the goal. which we have established together with the professional. I repeat: together with the professional and not only. Especially with the right timing. With this mental approach, some success can be achieved in two months.
What advice would you give to a very young / very young person who opens social media and comes across videos like this?
I would advise not to take what comes from the net at its face value. If you come across a video that seems especially compelling, the invitation is always to face an adult. I would also remind you that diet is a medical act and you face professionals, because it affects our health, just like choosing one drug over another.