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Social media influencers offering health advice causes S4C concerns

Health and Mental Health

Social media influencers offering health advice causes S4C concerns

A growing number of young people are turning to life influencers for fitness advice, something that can be dangerous without medical supervision according to presenter Jess Davies who has been researching the subject for a new series for S4C.

Presenter Jess Davies says she was shocked to find that young people are turning to social media influencers for diet and fitness advice. In the first programme of a new current affairs series, Jess looks at ‘fitfluencers’ who give advice on dieting and exercise on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. In the first episode, which airs tonight, Jess asks if fitfluencers are really good for our health.

“You don’t need any qualifications to share advice on the internet” explains Jess “Many young people would rather get advice on diet and fitness from influencers rather than their GP. And it can be dangerous.”

Recent research work by a brand strategy agency suggests that more than six million people in the UK are turning to a new generation of influencers on social media platforms, for help with chronic conditions and more general healthcare information. In the first of three programmes, Jess meets with an influencer from California, Courtney Luna, who has more than 100,000 followers on her TikTok account.

Courtney blogs about her Carnivore diet – a diet of meat. Courtney says: “I’ve been on this diet for 16 months. My doctor did not recommend it to me… There’s nothing that plants have that we can’t get from meat that we need. My following on social media has exploded. I’m just trying to help people. I don’t have qualifications but that’s another thing that makes me laugh because Doctors don’t know much about nutrition…”

During the series Jess will be looking behind the headlines at three topics, getting advice from professionals and speaking with young people. In the second programme Jess asks if protestors are now seen as criminals, as she joins a Just Stop Oil protest in London.

In the third programme Jess looks at sexual harassment and asks why do women still need to fight for their right to feel safe, Jess also shares her own experiences with the viewers.

Jess Davies: Dylanwad Drwg? Bad Influence? will air on S4C on Tuesday, January 9 at 9 pm

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