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The influence of social media on the dietary behaviors of young Australian adults: A mixed methods exploration

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posted on 2024-03-15, 05:24 authored by Kiera Goerke, Ashley NgAshley Ng, Gina TrakmanGina Trakman, Adrienne ForsythAdrienne Forsyth

The aims of this study were to (1) determine the impact of social media use on the dietary behaviors of young Australian adults, (2) explore the relationship between social media use and wellbeing, and (3) determine how social media influences dietary behaviors. Young Australian adults (18–25 years) were recruited by social media to complete an anonymous online survey (n = 107) and follow‐up focus groups (n = 5). The cross‐sectional survey collected demographic data, WHO‐5 Wellbeing scores, and information about social media use and its impact on dietary behaviors. Focus groups explored salient findings in more detail. Participants altered their dietary habits due to social media (51%) and were inspired to make healthy choices they saw modeled (71%). However, participants who spent more time on social media had lower WHO‐5 Wellbeing scores and were more likely to report social media had not had a positive impact on their diet (H = 10.38, p = 0.02, df = 3). Focus groups revealed that social media influenced attitudes, not behaviors; young adults trust credible social media creators; and food and nutrition literacy serve as a shield against misinformation. Further studies are needed to explore longitudinal impacts of social media use on wellbeing and dietary behaviors.


Publication Date



Mental Health Science






6p. (p. 21-26)





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© 2023 The Authors. Mental Health Science published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.