Is Social Media Really Pushing Australians towards a Healthier Lifestyle?

Social media sure has definitely become a major influencer in the lives of people in Australia, covering different factors that affect their lifestyle. But what has become even more noticeable is how the   Australian fitness industry has also been growing as the use of social media widens.   Yes, social media has finally pushed Australians to live a healthier lifestyle.   A Social Media Phenomenon   The show The Biggest Loser has become an effective way to reinforce the call for health all over the continent as people are given the visible proof that slimming down can actually be done no matter how big you are. Add to that the growing number of fitness personalities all over social media, and you have yourself an entire market craving for more.   It is not just limited to one aspect of health. If anything, it has opened up amazing opportunities for different sectors, from food to fashion to technology.   Working out now has become so fashionable, that there are actual trends that people follow. It seems that it’s not just about how much iron you pump, it has also become about how good you look while you’re doing it.   Technology has been an even bigger factor as one wearable after another is released to the market. With wristwatches that do not just give you the time and info about your messages and emails, but updates on how your heart rate is and how your pace is going as well, it seems that the health and wellness industry has truly crept into people’s lives with very little warning.   And the way people eat, wow. The huge difference is also felt in the food sector as the demand for protein and meat alternative rises. More people are now turning to plant-based diets, with nearly half of   Australian adults now reducing their meat intake.   So how does social media fit into all these? It’s simple.   The speed at which information is being sent has now become extremely faster (and especially enjoyable) with social media users having the power to share content with a single click. This means that where the health industry used to spend millions on info dissemination alone, it’s now being done for costs that run at almost next to nothing.   Health versus Weight   But is this phenomenon truly a healthy one?   As the number of adults that try to live healthier lifestyles increase, it seems that the profits of fast food companies have been zooming up as well. And yes, 40% of Australian adults also in the obese level and have very poor diets.   The issue on body-shaming is also ever-present, as there clearly is a huge misunderstanding when it comes to health and weight.   Of course, just because someone is thinner does not mean they are healthier. And just because someone is heavier does not mean they have poor diet. Genetics has a lot to do with it, with 70% of the variation in body size coming from the genes alone.   The sad part is, those who already have genes that make them heavier by default have been victims of public scrutiny, something that could also push them to have unhealthy diets. A lot also admit to the fact that although they have tried a number of different diet plans, they just can’t seem to reach the body goals that the rest of the public usually aim for. With that, they often fall back into the same unhealthy cycle.   Knowing all this, it seems that although promoting a healthy lifestyle is important, social media should also be used to educate people about what is truly considered as a ‘healthy body’. It is not at all about weight, and is more on how one eats, how one lives, and how one thinks. Once this is established, people can start separating the notion of body types and weight classes from real overall health.   Special thanks to Trivedi Healers for the main image.

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