Social Media and Sugar Consumption: The Strange Link Among Kids

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You’ve seen the jillions of studies about the negative effect of social media on confidence and mood. According to new data, it may also be bad for the body.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study suggests that social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram can increase the intake of unhealthy foods in kids and teens.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool created fake Instagram pages of popular vloggers — or video bloggers — with unhealthy snacks, healthy snacks, and no food at all. They had children between the ages of 9 and 11 look at these posts, then measured the kids’ own snack intake.

The results? Kids who viewed images of the vloggers with unhealthy snacks consumed more unhealthy snacks themselves and had a higher intake of calories overall than those who viewed non-food-related images. However, images of the vloggers with healthy snacks had no effect on the kids’ snack intake or overall calorie consumption.