If you are scrolling through Instagram late at night, chances are you are doing one of the following: attempting to complete an assignment due at 11:59PM (and procrastinating), or being swaddled in warm sheets, waiting for sleepiness to take over. But what do your social media feed consist of? Do you struggle with your body image and your relationship with food? I found that social media was heavily affecting my eating habits and my self worth.  

Jessica Izquierdo

As a junior at the University of Florida, I understand how harrowing it can be to live up to the beauty standards society portray; especially in college. I also fell into the infinite trap of trying to fit into what was considered beautiful. To fit in, you have to be a thin and stylish individual who works out, parties, studies, and is likable. AKA, you have to emulate a god or goddess. This unrealistic exception is a problem in itself, but it's especially worrying when you stop nourishing your body to achieve those unrealistic goals. Without being aware, you could begin to develop discorded eating habits.

Eating disorders are characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits

Food is the source of our energy. Without food, your body begins to shut down and its normal processes are affected. You might feel sluggish, your mind might lag, and your heart may feel heavy.

According to a study conducted by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “[There] is a strong and consistent association between social media use and eating concerns in a nationally representative sample of young adults aged 19 to 32 years.”

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You know the phrase "you are what you eat?" You also are what you consume on social media. Negativity, unhealthy habits, and false information open doors to mental illness. How can you avoid this? I prefer to keep my feed cleansed and routinely assess who I follow and how their content makes me feel. I follow my friends, my favorite food blogs, fitness bloggers, and body-positive and conscious influencers who take responsibility for their content. 

Eating disorders continue to affect college students at exponential rates. The spread of misinformation, photoshop, and misleading filters has trampled a lot of our generation's standards for self-worth. Influencers are meant to look flawless in pictures, but they are like every one of us. Not perfect, not gods, just human. The numerous times I have found myself scrolling through TikTok or Instagram and have found a horrible example for young individuals is astonishing.

Make sure you take the time to get to know what your body thrives on and what brings peace to your mind.

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I won’t be cliche and tell you to get off social media entirely. Attempt to at least fill your feed with knowledgeable individuals who will add quality to your life and eliminate negativity. Before you think about skipping another meal, please remember you are strong, you are beautiful, and you are human. We are all organic, and we need food to survive. Enjoying food should not be taboo. Take the time to eat wholesome, nutritious food. Enjoy some cookies or candy, and eat some pasta. Your body deserves it!