Diet obsession seems to pervade not just American culture but all of the mankind. While focusing on nutrition is a positive thing, our relationship with diet and weight loss often morphs into an unhealthy fixation. Of course, this phenomenon is nothing new, but in the last five years, social media has played an increasing role in our diet obsession. According to Dred.com, Instagram hosts over 25 million photos with the hashtag #diet, including "portioned food posts, sometimes-annoying inspirational quotes, and pervasive progress pics (aka before-and-afters)." Personally, I've scrolled passed at least three posts of this kind just today.
It's hard not to compare our meals and bodies to the photogenic açai bowls and tiny waists we see on social media. But a new report from Dred reveals that diet obsession doesn't affect everyone in the world the same way.
To learn more about which states and countries are the most diet-obsessed, Dred examined Instagram posts tagged #diet per 100,000 residents in the United States and Europe. Curious to know which locales are most diet-conscious? Keep scrolling to take in Dred's fascinating stats!
Florida, California, New York, Nevada, and Massachusetts tip the scale as the top five most diet-obsessed states. Floridians earn the top spot, tagging their Instagram posts #diet 9.2 times per 100,000 residents. It makes sense when you think about it: Miami is perhaps the most bikini-clad city in America, followed by Los Angeles, which likely placed California in the #2 spot.
This graph of the top 20 most diet-obsessed states reveals more info. "Most of the states that rank highly for the use of #diet also rank in the richest states in America," Dred points out. "Massachusetts and New Jersey are just two that make the wealthiest list, and coincidentally, they're also in the top 10 for #diet."
The correlation between socioeconomic class and dieting is strong. "Wealthier Americans can afford to try exercise fads like SoulCycle or hot yoga," says Dred. "They also have an expendable budget to buy healthier items at boutique grocery stores instead of restricting food completely."
Onto Europe: Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, and Italy make up the surprising list of the top five most diet-focused countries in Europe. On the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, there are a whopping 815 Instagram posts tagged #diet per 100,000 residents. "With its six months of summer-style climate, it's no surprise that islanders might feel the pressure to squeeze into swimsuits," Dred reports.
What's more surprising is Ireland's diet obsession. (Isn't Ireland supposed to be the land of chilly weather, beer, and potatoes?) This data just goes to show that even Irelanders aren't spared the dieting fixation.
Cyprus's high concentration is quite stunning. "Cyprus easily beat out the three closest countries (Denmark, Ireland, and Iceland) by more than 200 occurrences," Dred reports.
Interestingly enough, Hungary, which narrowly makes the top 20, has built dieting into its very policy. "The country passed the so-called “fat tax” to combat obesity," Dred notes.
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