The Unhealthy Trend in Blogging

blogging-unhealthy-trendsBlogging gives your voice a space to speak and to help and encourage others. It’s nice to hear from others and relate to their stories. But there is an unhealthy trend floating around the blogging world and you need to be cautious of it.

I’m not a doctor or a guru and I certainly don’t hold any degrees. Talking about certain topics doesn’t feel right to me because I’m not a professional of anything. It feels safe talking about clothes and makeup and things that I’ve gone through.

My regular blogging feed is usually full of fun outfit posts but has recently become cluttered with the discussion of health and working out. I have no problem when people want to share what works for them but when they pretend to be a certified teacher and talk about what they do, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

Would you let your best friend pick out an outfit for you? Sure, why not, nothing bad could happen. Would you let your best friend oversee your diet & exercise and change things as they see fit? Probably not!

[pullquote]Reading blogs is fun because it’s like conversing with a best friend. Unlike the media which is like your weird uncle.[/pullquote]

Reading blogs is fun because it’s like conversing with a best friend. Unlike the media which is like your weird uncle. You’ve come to expect your friends to give you helpful advice to navigate life because they’ve already been there. But what if the advice they give you could hurt you, make you sick, or even kill you? That’s exactly the kind of scary advice I’m hoping you greatly discern.

Too often in the blogging world, health advice is tossed around. New diets, exercises, and get-skinny-quick schemes abound. Magazines and television shows come with warnings like “Please consult a doctor first” but who really does that? What harm could come from eating only oranges for a week? My friend did that and she looks great!* Bloggers are supposed to post disclaimers as well but many of them miss the mark which could get them in a lot more trouble than a few missing words from a blog post.

Books, magazines and other news sources get a majority of their information from real life experts in their field. While your blogger friend has gone through a lot, their information has a chance of being inaccurate. Doctors and experts go through years of school and training to get to where they are while your best friend has gone through a personal situation and has probably heavily read up on a subject. As much as I believe you should trust your best friend, they don’t always know the full risks and outcomes that come with their advice.

[pullquote]What works for one person might not work for another. Our bodies are all so different![/pullquote]

I’ve had my own health issues and a big weight loss but I’ve tried to keep quiet about the actual changes in my diet because I don’t think it’s safe to talk about. I want to protect my readers and I feel like giving a detailed record of my food diary might lead others to think it’s ok to eat like that. What happened to me was a unique situation. It was not a diet and I don’t think it should be followed. What works for one person might not work for another. Our bodies are all so different!

The words you post online have power. People take them to heart and believe them to be true. When individuals are not health care certified, it can be scary to take advice from them. I don’t want to discourage you from reading health stories from bloggers (some could actually lead you to making a real diagnoses in your life!) but please take caution when considering their advice. Unless they are a doctor, tread carefully.

*Hypothetical situation. I don’t actually have friends.


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  • Natalie Barletta

    I agree. I try to have a lot of variety in my posts. This is such a great and well written post!

  • Lyndsey M

    You are so incredibly right to post this. It is so easy to fall into the media traps of “lose 20lbs in 3 days!!”. That does NOT sound healthy and most people have common sense enough to know that isn’t true, but when someone you feel close to (a blogger/friend/family member!) starts dishing out their own experiences and claims to have all the answers to lose weight fast, it turns into a whole new ballgame. You trust those people. You believe what they write and when you are desperate, you’ll try almost anything to get it off. I’ve been there. I *finally* had a recent breakthrough with “learning to love Lyndsey” (I made a pinterest board about it). It’s changed my life.
    I can’t stress this enough that this post is SO good and should be shared because it is so true and important. Thank you for being concerned with others well being. You’re a sweet, genuine human. <3

  • Ana Valentin

    I totally loved this post Hannah! As someone really into health and fitness I try not to give advice on these things. Everything I post is in regard to me and my body and I emphasize that what my body does and doesn’t like or do well your body might have a totally different reaction! I don’t think we should take the role of a nutrionist and always always always have a disclaimer that this is an opinion and not fact in a lot of cases. I might beleive in 6 small meals and you in 3 big ones and one way isn’t right for everyone and people tend to forget that! Exercises tips and helpful nutrition posts like how to cook spaghetti squash it great! But when you start creating a meal plan for your audience that is NOT ok. I don’t believe in cookie cutter diets. I believe in wholesome food and eatin in tune with yourself. Blog about what you love, but be aware that it isn’t just you reading this but someone who may take your word as fact. It’s a fine line. Bravo Hannah!

  • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Ana! I hope more people take this to heart like you did. 🙂

  • I’m so glad to have your thoughts on this! Thank you for leaving a comment, Lyndsey. 🙂 This article was loosely inspired by my big sister who is the kind of person who believes everything she reads. She’s wised up in recent years and listens to health pros now but not everyone makes that change. It’s so important to stay on your toes in the media world!

  • I totally agree with this! Plus, it makes me super uncomfortable and upset when bloggers post things like “start building your summer body” and other thin-spo type slogans. Why do we need to work out for the summer? why can’t we just work out because we feel like it and because it’s healthy?

  • therealanab

    Great post! It’s not just a blogger problem, it’s a “media geared to women” problem. From a very young age girls are taught to diet and share their “dieting” advice with other girls. All too often we take the advice of friends, bloggers, and magazine editors when it comes to what we should eat to be healthy, forgetting that unless they are medical professionals they are just guessing. Personally, I tell people that my diet fits my body and my lifestyle, the end.

  • You got that right! Being healthy is never out of season.

  • Krystal{Perfect Enough For Us}

    I love this!! And even though I do have a health qualification I still tell people to speak to their GP about what is right specifically for them. I think bloggers tend to overlook this responsibility they have… there’s some that I’ve seen give advice and they have NO qualifications. But it doesn’t stop there – people also publish books now with no qualifications too.