If you’re on TikTok, you have most likely come across a “What I Eat In A Day” video. These types of videos, meant to show users what a creator eats during the day, recipes, as well as tips and tricks for the kitchen, are popular, but are they really necessary? The hashtag, #WhatIEatInADay has 4.6 billion likes. Under this hashtag, the videos typically have comments of users comparing what they eat in a day to the creator. Far too often, the trend consists of videos of very fit and skinny girls posting how they eat very minimally throughout the day, and this can be harming to viewers. Especially young viewers who may be self -conscious about their weight or body in general. Of course, you can be insecure at ANY size, and feeling body conscious is not only a feeling reserved for those who are medically overweight. Body image issues do not have a one size fits all.
When it comes to the topic of eating disorders on the internet, it has become a common custom to include a trigger warning in the beginning of the video to ensure viewers can click off if they do not wish to expose themselves to triggering content. This is very important, however it is also important for viewers to understand that when on the internet they are making themselves available to taking in information or seeing content that may upset them, it’s the internet.
Our bodies need food to nourish themselves and give us energy and nutrients. The only people who should be telling us what we should eat are medical professionals! Diet culture can be dangerous and very appealing to young impressionable minds. It is important to exercise as much as you can during the week, and get your body moving and do your best to live a healthy and active lifestyle. However, you do not need to limit yourself to fit a certain “beauty standard”. Getting the message along that these types of videos depicting what people eat in order to stay as thin as possible may harm more than help is beneficial to many TikTok users out there.
So how do viewers spot the difference between a helpful #WhatIEatInADay video vs. a harmful one? The truth is, it’s okay to post these videos. Finding interesting meals, recipes and food combos is fun and should be shared on a platform such as TikTok. The most important thing is to put yourself in other people’s shoes before posting, and to understand that what works for you, is what works for you, personally. You do not have to copy what other people eat, especially if you think that eating what they do will make you look identical to them. This is impossible. Let’s leave the #WhatIEatInADay videos to nutritional specialists, doctors and other medical professionals who have studied these sorts of things! Oh, and you’re doing great today! :)