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Social media is where many people spend hours of their day. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, the content is always new. Social media provides us with the satisfaction that we are liked and people care about what we say. But what else is social media providing us with?

Scrolling through Instagram,  I see a picture of my sister, a picture from my favorite fashion blogger, and then a picture of a huge platter of food with the caption #foodporn. Clicking on the hashtag reveals a whole different type of social media. Food is glorified in thousands of posts. Bloggers with millions of followers who only post pictures of what they eat every day. Who are these people targeting? What are their posts good for?

Many businesses have turned to social media for advertisement. Social media use has increased enormously due to the rise of millennials, Gen Z and the expansion of technology. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook have programs that make it easy to track how much a post is seen. If a post is seen by thousands of people, more posts similar to that one will be posted more often. To food businesses, these posts are nothing but a marketing strategy, but for people struggling with food addiction, they’re much more.

Social media allows our eating to become something more than what it is. Because of social media, the biological and nutritional aspect of eating is being overruled by social and cultural norms, according to an article by Huffington Post.  Social media has allowed eating to become less about food and more about the reactions one receives based on what we eat. It’s become less about the ingredients and more about the audience. But how can we bring the focus back to the food and maintain a healthy diet?

Unfollow and unplug. For those struggling with food addiction, sometimes all it takes is a picture to break habits and and go back to overeating. The easiest solution to not seeing these pictures is to unfollow those accounts and maybe even take a break from social media for awhile. Food addiction and social media addiction go hand in hand; take a break.

Have a Plan. When you’re browsing and you know there is going to be a chance of seeing those images of food, have a backup plan. Instead of turning to food, have another distraction ready, such as a game or a different app. Creating a habit of seeing those images and then turning to something other than food can keep you from overeating.

Don’t let social media have control of your life. When it does, it influences all aspects of you: eating, behavior, stress, etc. Get back in control and make choices that will make you and your body happy.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash