‘Influencers’ give food advice without being trained, nutritionists warn

In recent months people who do not have professional knowledge in nutrition give advice on what to eat, how to do it and give formulas to lose weight. The College of Professionals in Nutrition (CPN) warned this Monday of the risks that these can cause to your health.

Metabolic alterations, dehydration, performance problems, eating behavior disorders, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and the most commonly called “rebound effect” in which the person gains weight after losing it rapidly, are some of the consequences.

“If you had a car as valuable as a Ferrari, you would always take it to the best workshops and make sure that it was seen by such highly trained professionals. Your body is even more valuable than a Ferrari, don’t put it in the hands of just anyone. You endanger your health by putting it in the hands of people who are not authorized, “said Michelle González, representative of the CPN Prosecutor’s Office.

His colleague María José Mora, added: “we have also detected that people, by not achieving their objectives and goals in a healthy way, come to present an aversion towards food, triggering major problems”, he pointed out.

The professionals recalled that all people have different nutritional requirements and a professional is the one who must accompany them in the process so that the person does not damage their health. People who are influencers or influencersmodels or physical education professionals who provide this advice without being trained and who prioritize the aesthetic point of view could increase the risk that those who follow them will develop an eating behavior disorder (ED) such as anorexia or bulimia.

To this is added that socially overweight is seen in some sectors of society as a derogatory label. And non-professionals seek to take advantage of this.

“Food is something to enjoy, to make you feel happy. There is nothing uglier than doing something nice while feeling bad, so the patient is expected to develop a long-term habit without blaming food or exposing them to eating behavior disorders,” González said.

The risk

Yes, there are nutrition professionals who have social media platforms where they share their advice, but there are other people who, without the slightest knowledge, provide recommendations. To this is added that there are companies of certain types of products that seek influencers to recommend consuming certain types of food without taking into account the nutritional requirements of the population.

“We have heard of people who say ‘you are going to lose five kilos in a month’, or who give reviews of products in which they are dedicated to counting calories without looking beyond what the product can contribute. Lies are sold to him to tie up, mainly with aesthetics, “González stressed.

“I can’t put myself through something extreme just because I want to be slim or have a muscular body,” he added.

The problem, indicated the specialist, is that social networks lend themselves so that people without knowledge, but with communication skills, disorient those who seek to look better.

To do?

These are the tips provided by the NPC.

  • Ask the professional for the card number or code, you must give it to him without hesitation.
  • You must respect their schedules, their food preferences (for example, if they are vegetarian or if for religious reasons they avoid a food group), their health condition and their economic situation and adapt your plan to that.
  • If you want to check if any person is duly incorporated, you can enter the following link: https://cpncr.com/directorio-nutritistas/
  • If you were the victim of a person who gave nutritional advice without being trained, you can file a complaint with the CPN and with the Public Ministry.
  • Even if your family member, friend or neighbor has a nutritionist designed an eating plan, do not follow it, each plan is adapted to the person’s health needs.
  • If you feel any discomfort in the process, notify your nutritionist.