How influential is the influencer? Nutrition and diet in the social media age
Social media is credited with many things and blamed for many more, but what role does it play in the food choices people make?
Online, we are bombarded by images of all kinds and food has taken its place alongside everything else.
And, of course, we are trapped in our own social media bubbles – drawn to things because our friends have liked them, or because our favourite influencers have been paid to endorse them, or because the algorithms have analysed our online shopping lists and other personal details, and have decided we should see pictures of steaming Sunday roasts, salads or pizzas.
We are often warned about the dangers social media can pose to young people, but we are all susceptible to being influenced.
So what does all of this add up to when it comes to our diet and nutrition?
Has social media made us less healthy, more at risk of eating problems, or more aware of healthy choices?
Suzanne Higgs, Professor in the Psychobiology of Appetite, University of Birmingham
Suzanne Higgs is Professor in the Psychobiology of Appetite at the University of Birmingham, UK.
Her research focuses on cognitive control of eating behaviours and the underpinning biological mechanisms.
She is particularly interested in the role that learning and memory processes play in decision making about what and how much to eat.
Suzanna Forwood, Associate Professor of Psychology & Sports Science, Anglia Ruskin University
Suzanna is a cognitive psychologist interested in food choice, the factors that determine food choice and the tools available to improve the healthiness of food choices.
She is Associate Professor of Psychology & Sports Science, Anglia Ruskin University.