Establishing a Healthy Body Image and Relationship with Food in a Digital Era 

In an age where we are constantly connected and get almost all our information through our phone screens, the media we intake can be equally as important as the food we consume. The people and accounts we follow on social media can have a huge impact on our mental health and how we view our bodies. When conditions like orthorexia (an unhealthy obsession with being healthy) emerge, because of our time spent on social media, it is important to closely monitor the information we are absorbing (Amidor, 2018).  

When we are so influenced by what we see on the internet, it only makes sense to want to be influenced positively! Here are some ideas on how to strengthen body images and relationships with food by making some changes to our online actions: 

  1. When it comes to the people and accounts being followed, ask yourself “what kind of message the page is sending?” Is it promoting body positivity at all shapes and sizes or broadcasting one body size as best? Avoid following “thinspo” accounts or any page that gives a narrow scope of health and beauty. We are all meant to be happy at a genetically predisposed weight and we should follow accounts that promote and celebrate that idea. 
  2. Ask yourself what kind of language the accounts you follow and the people around you use when talking about food and fitness. Food should be thought of as fuel and never as a bad thing. It isn’t something that needs to be “worked off” with vigorous exercise. Food and exercise should be used as things that make us feel better! Follow pages that encourage intuitive eating (which includes being mindful and respectful of hunger cues) and eating all foods in moderation. It is also a good idea to think about adding healthy foods to your diet rather than subtracting anything. Totally limiting certain foods has been found to be less healthy (mentally and physically) than enjoying all foods in moderation (Bacon and Aphrmor, 2011). 
  3. Contribute positively on your own pages to add to the healthy conversation surrounding food and body image. When a friend posts a cute picture, leaving a comment that isn’t specifically about their body can help you and others (follow @VictoriaGarrick4)! “Looks like so much fun!” or “I love your outfit!” are some examples.  

Look after your own mental health by filtering what your news feeds are showing you. Strive for positivity surrounding all foods and bodies and add to the change in rhetoric by encouraging your friends and family to do the same! 

 P.S.- Here are some of my favorite body positivity/healthy relationship with food accounts: 

  • @dietitian.rachelgoodman on Instagram
  • @maryscupofteaa on Instagram 
  • @effyourbeautystandards                                                                         
  • @VictoriaGarrick4 on TikTok 


– Sarah Haskins, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador 

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