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Here’s How Exposure to Instagram Can Ruin Children’s Eating Habit

The results suggest that the marketing of unhealthy foods, via vloggers' Instagram pages, increases children's immediate energy intake

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Instagram
Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

Making children eat healthy food can test the patience of parents. The exposure of children to social media platforms such as photo-sharing app Instagram could make the job even tougher for them, suggests a new study.

The findings published in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who view unhealthy snack images on social media platforms are likely to consume more calories from unhealthy snacks.

“The results are supported by celebrity endorsement data, which show unhealthy food endorsements increase children’s unhealthy food intake, but healthy food endorsements have little or no effect on healthy food intake,” said researcher Anna Coate from the University of Liverpool in Britain.

The study was conducted with the aim of examining the effect of social media marketing of snack foods (healthy and unhealthy), via vloggers’ Instagram pages, on children’s snack intake.

During the study 176 children, aged between 9 and 11 years, were randomly split into three equal groups and were shown artificially created, but realistic, Instagram pages of popular vloggers (each has millions of followers).

One group was shown images of the vlogger with unhealthy snacks, the second group was shown images of the vlogger with healthy snacks and the third group was shown images of the vlogger with non-food products.

Social Media
Chiara Valenzano, right, photographs her food as she has lunch with her friend Giulia Terranova at the ‘This is not a Sushi bar’ restaurant, in Milan, Italy, Oct. 16, 2018. At the restaurant, payment can be made according to the number of Instagram followers one has. VOA

The participants’ subsequent intake of snacks (healthy and unhealthy options) were measured.

Children in the group that viewed the unhealthy snack images consumed 32 per cent more calories from unhealthy snacks specifically and 26 per cent more calories in total — from healthy and unhealthy snacks — compared with children who saw the non-food images, the findings showed.

The results suggest that the marketing of unhealthy foods, via vloggers’ Instagram pages, increases children’s immediate energy intake.

Also Read- Microsoft Working on a New Feature to Create Spreadsheets Using Visual Data

“Young people trust vloggers more than celebrities so their endorsements may be even more impactful and exploitative,” Coates said.

“Tighter restrictions are needed around the digital marketing of unhealthy foods that children are exposed to, and vloggers should not be permitted to promote unhealthy foods to vulnerable young people on social media,” she added. (IANS)

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Instagram Removes IGTV Shortcut Button Due to Lack of Use

It also said social media media platforms would extend end-to-end encryption from WhatsApp to include Instagram Direct and all of Facebook Messenger, though it could take years to complete, TechCrunch reports

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Instagram
Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

Facebook-owned Instagram has removed the IGTV shortcut button from the top right corner of the app’s home screen because not enough people are interacting with it.

Instagram launched IGTV in 2018 in an effort to compete with YouTube, but then TikTok came along. Before IGTV, Instagram had only allowed people post videos that were 60 seconds or shorter.

Almost seven million of Instagram’s one billion-plus users have downloaded its standalone IGTV app in the 18 months since launch. For reference, TikTok received 1.15 billion downloads in the same period since IGTV launched, TechCrunch reports.

“Very few are clicking into the IGTV icon in the top right corner of the home screen in the Instagram app… We always aim to keep Instagram as simple as possible, so we’re removing this icon based on these learnings and feedback from our community,” the report quoted a Facebook spokesperson.

Instagram, Shopping, US
Instagram, which, according to Statista, has 69 million users in India, is currently testing direct shopping in the US and plans to bring it to more markets in the future. Pixabay

Additionally, Instagram has started testing its direct messaging feature to its desktop site, meaning now one can finally keep up with their conversations from browser.

Facebook’s plans to allow Instagram DMs over the web were first revealed last year by noted app leaker Jane Manchun Wong.

Also Read: Electric Vehicle Maker Tesla Denies Driver Complaints of Sudden Unintended Acceleration: Report

With the upcoming update, users will be able to create chats from the profile screen via a newly added “message” button and one may also able to share posts to others via DM as well as receive notifications on desktop if the browser supports it.

It also said social media media platforms would extend end-to-end encryption from WhatsApp to include Instagram Direct and all of Facebook Messenger, though it could take years to complete, TechCrunch reports. (IANS)