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Adolescents' presentation of food in social media: an explorative study

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Christopher Holmberg
John Chaplin
Thomas Hillman
Christina Berg
Publicerad i Appetite
Volym 99
Sidor 121-129
ISSN 0195-6663
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Institutionen för pedagogik, kommunikation och lärande
Institutionen för kliniska vetenskaper, Avdelningen för pediatrik
Institutionen för kost- och idrottsvetenskap
Sidor 121-129
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.01....
Ämnesord Food and nutrition, Food communication, Health communication, Health promotion, Social media
Ämneskategorier Hushålls- och kostvetenskap, Annan medicin och hälsovetenskap, Näringslära, Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi


The study aimed to explore how adolescents communicate food images in a widely used social media image-sharing application. We examined how and in what context food was presented and the type of food items that were frequently portrayed by following a youth related hashtag on Instagram. The hashtag #14år (“14 years”) was used to find adolescent users on Instagram: these users public photo streams were then searched for food items they had shared with others. Food items were identified and categorized based on type of food and how the food items were presented. Most of the adolescent users (85%) shared images containing food items. A majority of the images (67.7%) depicted foods high in calories but low in nutrients. Almost half of these images were arranged as a still life with food brand names clearly exposed. Many of these images were influenced by major food marketing campaigns. Fruits and vegetables occurred in 21.8% of all images. This food group was frequently portrayed zoomed in with focus solely on the food, with a hashtag or caption expressing palatability. These images were often presented in the style of a cook book. Food was thus presented in varied ways. Adolescents themselves produced images copying food advertisements. This has clear health promotion implications since it becomes more challenging to monitor and tackle young people's exposure to marketing of unhealthy foods in these popular online networks because images are part of a lifestyle that the young people want to promote. Shared images contain personal recommendations, which mean that they may have a more powerful effect than commercial advertising.

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