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TikTok dieting trend can be harmful for teens

Many teens are using the TikTok app as a platform to share dieting advice, but these videos can impact teens in a negative way.

TikTok is one of the most popular apps right now. If you post a video, it has the potential to reach millions.

Many teens are using the app as a platform to share dieting advice, but these videos can impact teens in a negative way.

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The Rocket City Dietitian, Rachel Brown, says part of the problem is most of the users are very young.

"Influence does not equal expertise and knowledge and education," said Brown. "A lot of people think if they have thousands and millions of followers, they must give correct information and that's really not the case."

Although it may be hard to sort out the good advice from the bad, there are some trustworthy users sharing healthy eating tips.

"I encourage people to look for dietitians, because dietitians are actual nutrition professionals. The random teenager online does not necessarily know the right things," said Brown.

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If someone pops up on your feed recommending a water fast or only eating so many calories, it might be a good idea to pass on the advice.

"There's like a  lemon cinnamon water video, that one is very dangerous," said Brown. "Also, I heard of a 20 day water fast which is not good ever. There's also group chats from that encouraging people to keep going and that's very dangerous."

If your child is on TikTok, talk with them about the these types of videos, and make sure they know what is and isn't healthy for them.

"I think if we don't talk about it, it can create more of an issue," said Brown. "I would talk about it openly. See why they're searching for that advice on there and maybe re-frame how you talk about food and your body and just focus on the really goofy fun videos that don't have anything to do with food, don't have anything to do with bodies, just the silly challenges."

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Brown recommends unfollowing any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or promote under eating.

You can get more advice from Rachel Brown, a.k.a RocketCityDietitian by following her on Instagram.

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