Users who pinned healthy recipes on social media are more likely to make unhealthy ones

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When it comes sharing recipes on social media, what customers submit, and what they prepare dinner could also be two totally various things. That is the conclusion of a latest examine from George Mason College’s Faculty of Well being and Human Providers, revealed in April within the Journal of Medical Web Analysis (JMIR), a number one journal for digital drugs and well being analysis.

The examine led by Hong Xue, PhD analyzed a whole lot of Pinterest Customers and Pinterest Influencers, and located customers preferred and pinned posts that have been wholesome, that includes extra poultry, fish and greens, however customers extra closely engaged off-line with recipes that have been excessive in fats, sugar, and complete energy – indicating that customers have been extra like to really prepare dinner the much less wholesome recipes.

It is an fascinating discrepancy between what pinners posted/preferred and the way customers truly consumed the knowledge. Pinners usually tend to submit recipes which can be socially rewarded with likes and repins. They’re extra prone to adhere to an elite social norm set by celebrities and influencers selling more healthy, low-calorie, clear consuming. However in the case of the recipes customers are extra inquisitive about making meals excessive in fats, sugar, and excessive energy. We see a really completely different image. They’re commenting on and posting completed dish images of the much less wholesome recipes.”


Hong Xue, PhD

The disconnect between reputation and engagement is a vital one, Xue famous, as a result of customers aren’t taking the extra step from curiosity to motion. And that would have important implications for anybody making an attempt to extend wholesome consuming behaviors via social media campaigns. Particularly, the examine discovered:

  • Engagement (commenting, sharing images of completed dishes) elevated as the quantity of fats, sugar, complete energy elevated in a recipe
  • Reputation (reposting, liking) of a recipe elevated because the variety of poultry and seafood went up in a recipe
  • Remark mining on recipe posts revealed that customers have been extra prone to touch upon the best way a recipe tasted
  • Customers have been far much less prone to touch upon a recipe’s issue stage (lower than 8 p.c) or its well being attributes (lower than 3 p.c).

With 18 p.c of the grownup U.S. inhabitants utilizing Pinterest, and recipe sharing being certainly one of its hottest curiosity areas, the platform represents an unprecedented alternative to bolster wholesome consuming habits, Xue mentioned, if Pinterest influencers posting recipes used some completely different methods.

“If customers are participating with extra unhealthy recipes, then maybe influencers ought to supply choices for reducing the fats in them, as a part of these recipes. There’s positively a job for healthcare organizations and health specialists to supply more healthy recipes which can be massive on taste, as this seems to be an space the place customers discover the recipes missing. To vary perceptions, public well being specialists have to make wholesome meals the deal with, and never the opposite means round. There’s great alternatives in social media to affect wholesome habits,” he mentioned. “We’re solely starting to grasp it is potential and pitfalls.”

Supply:

Journal reference:

Cheng, X., et al. (2021) Healthfulness Evaluation of Recipes Shared on Pinterest: Pure Language Processing and Content material Evaluation. Journal of Medical Web Analysis. doi.org/10.2196/25757.

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