I shouldn’t eat that.

Why not?

Because it’s not healthy.

What do you mean?

It’s bad. It’s not good for you.

What makes you think that?

There’s an account I follow and they were talking about it the other day.

I’m a psychologist working in central London, but this conversation is happening in psychologists’ consulting rooms, GP surgeries and nutrition clinics all over the country as more and more people become unnecessarily worried about the food they eat.

In a bid to feel healthier, improve their skin or lose a few pounds many people turn to social media and wellness bloggers for information and tips on how to get started.

For many, the content they view helps them to find recipe inspiration and exercise that they enjoy.

However, the finding that nearly 90% of individuals aged 18-24 would trust health information they found via social media, means concerns are starting to be raised about the quality and accuracy of information found in the wellness sphere.

The world of wellness was rocked when Australian blogger Belle Gibson was found to have fabricated having cancer and claims that she had healed herself with a plant-based diet. But there are less dramatic ways that inaccurate information can be spread online.

Personal trainer and Instagram star Alice Liveing recently vented her frustration at unqualified fitness bloggers giving out incorrect information on workout routines.

Similarly, registered nutritionists Laura Thomas, and Rosie and Helen of The Rooted Project, can regularly be found trying to lower the heat on sensationalised health headlines and inaccurate nutritional dogma.

The Well Spoken mark was launched to help improve the accuracy and quality of information within the wellness industry and now a team of wellness experts have launched a conference to help bloggers keep their content safe and up-to-date so they can provide the best resources for their audiences.

Called ‘Wellness: What’s the Evidence’ the event includes nutritional myth-busting from registered nutritionists, a session on how to spot the signs that normal healthy eating might be slipping in to obsession, and a look behind the headlines from leading health journalists.

Former wellness blogger and now professional nutritional myth-buster Pixie Turner (aka Plantbased Pixie) is speaking at the conference.

Talking about her own experience she said, “I started going through periods of eating a lot of raw foods just because it would do really well on Instagram even though I didn’t particularly like it. I was constantly comparing my pictures to other people’s pictures and thinking that mine were not as good as theirs. I was really stressing myself out over and also feeling physically tired because I think I was starting to get nutrient deficient. It was so stressful and socially isolating. I got really obsessed with all the minute details of what I was eating. I was avoiding social situations because I wasn’t sure that the food that would be there would be healthy enough”.

Pixie then decided to do a Masters in Nutrition and is passionate about helping others to have a healthy and balanced relationship with wellness.  

Alongside her is blogger, journalist and wellness insider Maxine Ali.

“Before the clean eating backlash, no one could have imagined how influential, and potentially harmful, social media could be for our health”, said Maxine. “Now we’re wising up, this industry verges on a dramatic and positive shift, away from all the nonsense and misinformation, toward offering the most ethical and evidence-based information backed by experts. From nutrition, sport performance and psychology to safeguarding your language on social media, this is the first time any event has covered all bases, and it’s exciting to see this new direction taking shape!”

I couldn’t agree more!

The conference takes place in London on Saturday 5th May.  Full details and tickets can be found here

Health Blogger Community readers can get 10% of a full price ticket with the code HBC2018

References

PWC Health Research Institute: https://www.pwc.com/us/en/health-industries/health-research-institute/publications/pdf/health-care-social-media-report.pdf

Pixie Turner registered associate nutritionist (ANutr) (MSc)