Social media, where the world’s narcissists gather to brag about how wonderful their lives, children, holidays and fitness regimes are.
You know what else we’re boasting about now? Starving ourselves, or fasting if you want to put a positive spin on it.
In terms of crude numbers, there are 1,7 million #fasting hashtags, and 1,9 million #intermittentfasting hashtags on Instagram alone.
The Telegraph says that hunger-bragging is really in at the moment, pointing to two recent examples from people with big social media presences:
Strictly Come Dancing star Neil Jones recently hunger-bragged in an Instagram post to his 160,000 followers, where he shared the results of his four day fast.
“I can’t believe I managed 4 DAYS of fasting… that’s 96 hrs with no food and only drinking water,” said the 36-year-old professional dancer…
Jones’s post follows on from Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey [above, clearly in need of a good meal], who recently tweeted about his fasting, which often involves not eating for 22 hours of the day, and sometimes not at all.
“Been playing with fasting for some time,” he declared on the site he runs. “I do a 22 hour fast daily (dinner only), and recently did a 3 day water fast. Biggest thing I notice is how much time slows down. The day feels so much longer when not broken up by breakfast/lunch/dinner.”
I’m not sure we actually need to spell this one out, because starving your body for days won’t come recommended by experts, but here’s dietitian Helen Bond with why the #Hungerbrag fast might not be a great idea:
“If you’re not eating anything at all over a period of one or a few days, you’re going to feel low in energy and mood, lacking concentration and possibly angry and short-tempered. And long term I’d be worried about nutritional shortfalls.
“Of course, a professional dancer or a Silicon Valley chief will probably have an army of well paid nutritional consultants advising them behind the scenes. They may be taking supplements. But this doesn’t come across in a short social media post. The average Joe working in an office, who may have a long commute, young children to look after, who may be on medication or be pre-diabetic, may see posts like these and wonder whether fasting could be right for them, when it could be anything but.”
“What did you eat yesterday, darling?”
“Oh, just some lovely low-fat dust“.
Bond is clearly very unimpressed with Jones’ Instagram post:
“He says he’s doing it to ‘clean his body’ but this is simply nutri-babble. Our livers and other organs do a fantastic job of detoxing our bodies. Talking about ‘cleaning’ your body with a fast is factually incorrect, but it also makes a demon of food, which can be particularly triggering for any of his followers who may have an issue with disordered eating. The phrase implies that food is somehow toxic, or dirty, and not eating ‘cleanses’ your body.
“When you have a huge following, as Neil does, or run a social media platform like Twitter, you have a responsibility to realise you’re not always engaging with like-minded people. Fasting isn’t right for everybody, and not everybody will go away and implement it in a healthy way.”
To be fair to Jones, he does end his post advising that those who are keen to fast to seek medical advice first, but the message is somewhat buried.
You know what’s a really fun game for everyone to play? Not posting about your food, or eating habits, on social media.
Try it, man – it’s so goddam freeing, and your food doesn’t go cold whilst you take hundreds of pictures and apply filters to make your grub look appetising.
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