Seven TikTok Diet Myths Busted

By Marie-Antoinette Issa
on 25 April 2024

TikTok has spotlighted many a viral trend. However, providing sound health advice is generally not one of them. Particularly among the younger generations. In fact, if a recent survey conducted by global nutrition and food tracking app MyFitnessPal is anything to go by, TrikTok might be a more apt name! With a staggering eight in ten Millennials and Gen Z Australians turning to content creators on the platform for health advice. And only 36% reaching out to a healthcare professional on the advice they encountered on TikTok.

But, the consequences of blindly following these trends could be dire. As the survey uncovers a concerning trend of Australians adopting potentially harmful dietary practices.

For example, alarmingly, nine out of ten respondents admitted to seeking nutrition advice from TikTok multiple times. Clinical nutritionist Sally O’Neill (herself, not immune to the power of social media, with over 100,000 followers on Instagram) underscores the significance of this trend. And, emphasises the battleground between qualified professionals and unverified influencers on popular social media platforms.

Some of her advice for spotting questionable nutrition tips on social media include, verifying credentials, cross-checking content, trusting the expert majority and questioning quick results.

To further investigate the impact of social media on health trends, MyFitnessPal partnered with Dublin City University on a comprehensive study. The research analysed over 67,000 TikTok videos using artificial intelligence. And, revealed that only 2.1% of the nutrition content adhered to public health and nutrition guidelines. The majority of content was either inaccurate or lacked scientific evidence, underscoring the need for improved digital health literacy.

Professor Theo Lynn of Dublin City University emphasised the importance of critically evaluating the credibility of sources on social media platforms. He cautions against placing blind trust in TikTok trends, which often lack scientific rigour and evidence-based support. Such as the five below, discovered with a quick scroll …

  1. The Carnivore Diet. This diet advocates for exclusively consuming animal products, eliminating all plant-based foods. Despite claims of improved health, experts warn of potential long-term risks associated with such extreme dietary restrictions.
  2. The 15 Day Juice Cleanse. This trend promotes rapid weight loss and detoxification by consuming only fruit and vegetable juices for an extended period. While followers may experience short-term weight loss, this diet lacks essential nutrients and can lead to muscle loss and slowed metabolism.
  3. The Military Diet. The extreme calorie restriction of this approach (under 1000 calories per day for three days,) is unsustainable and can lead to nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, and metabolic slowdown.
  4. The “Mustard and Cottage Cheese” Diet. This fas suggests replacing meals with a combination of mustard and cottage cheese to promote weight loss. This highly restrictive and unbalanced diet lacks essential nutrients and is unlikely to result in sustainable weight loss or overall health benefits.
  5. The Mono Eating Plan. This diet promotes consuming only one type of food or food group for an extended period. Such as the “banana diet” or “potato diet.” While these diets may lead to initial weight loss due to calorie restriction, they lack the essential nutrients and variety needed for optimal health. Additionally, they can be monotonous and unsustainable in the long term.
  6. The Chlorophyll Water” Trend. This trend involves drinking water mixed with liquid chlorophyll, purportedly for its supposed detoxifying and weight loss properties. However, there’s little scientific evidence to support these claims, and excessive consumption of chlorophyll supplements can potentially lead to gastrointestinal upset and allergic reactions.
  7. The 75 Hard Challenge. While not strictly a diet trend, this challenge gained popularity on TikTok and other social media platforms. It involves adhering to a strict regimen of two workouts per day, following a diet plan, drinking a gallon of water, reading 10 pages of a non-fiction book, and taking a progress photo every day for 75 days straight. Critics argue that this challenge

Despite these challenges, there is a glimmer of hope in the finding that Gen Z individuals trust content shared by qualified dietitians over unverified influencers. This underscores the importance of licensed professionals in promoting evidence-based nutrition information on social media.

For Australians seeking reliable nutritional guidance, MyFitnessPal offers a valuable resource with its extensive food database and real-time nutritional insights. By empowering users with scientifically backed information, platforms like MyFitnessPal aim to combat the spread of misinformation. And, promote healthier dietary choices.

The moral of the story: TikTok may be great for viral beauty hacks. But responsible diet advice? Not so much! 

For more information on MyFitnessPal, visit or download the app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

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