Health supplements and natural products have been used in weight-loss fads for years and years. From matcha powder, to cayenne pepper, and the lemon detox diet, these trends have come and go in popularity over the last decade.
The latest trend of using tea for weight loss has sparked debate throughout the world. Is it really a miracle product? Or does it simply raise questions about the changing face of online marketing?
The Deceptiveness of Social Media Health Trends
If you live on planet Earth, maybe you’ve seen me. If you’re an Instagram participant or a twitter member, or even if you read trash media in the past year or so, you’ve most-likely heard of me. My name is Skinny Tea.
You can’t purchase me at local drug stores, real health care professionals don’t trust me (for obvious reasons). But I promise real results. I don’t just exist to make money.
I’m the one that influencers are posting about regularly. They’re wearing their active-gear, Nike shoes, leggings and the like. Holding packages of me, dressed up all nice, donned in a filter that smooths out everything.
Captions promise the best from me, and you’ll most likely believe it. Afterall, how do these social media stars look so good online? It can’t be from healthy eating and exercise, good angles and lighting. There has to be some secret that average people are missing out on.
That’s me with the discount code of 50% off, you’ll think you’re getting a great deal. Kylie Jenner drinks me, so you should too..
Can Tea Help a Person Lose Weight?
The health benefits of drinking tea have been common knowledge for decades. Offering a great source of antioxidants, reduce the risk of heart attacks and cancers and generally boosting the immune system.
Green tea in particular has been shown to increase the speed of metabolism of fat within the body. Many nutritionists recommend the consumption of tea both during meals and in between, to promote weight loss. However, that’s not the issue at hand with these “weight-loss teas”.
Nobody doubts that tea is a fantastic beverage, enjoyed around the world as a daily ritual. But the problems arise when businesses attempt to market tea as a dietary supplement. Combining this with the rise of “fitspo” influences and the implied appetite suppression creates a dangerous culture of diet restrictions.
Weight-loss Teas are Produced to Make Money
Images used to market these teas are often highly sexualised and fueled by trends of social media influencers. While not a significant problem in it’s own right, it’s often difficult – due to the nature of social media, for viewers to distinguish the difference between personal posts and promotional material.
In some countries influencers are not required to disclose whether a certain image is sponsored by a brand. The trouble is when users are easily influenced by brand because they’re posted by personalities they admire.
Product Promotion is Changing
Advertising has mutated with the growth of social media and it’s powers in marketing. Businesses have responded to this new platform by working with those with many followers to promote their products in a unique way. This has come with it’s own repercussions. Young people are more impacted by ads than ever before, it’s become impossible to distinguish reality from advertising online.
Skinny Tea is a perfect example of a possibly negative outcome for this changing landscape of marketing. Crash dieting in itself is often dangerous and studies have shown again and again that these methods do not work and can have negative impacts on a person’s health.
The majority of social media is made up of young people. Those easily influenced by their role-models opinions. Thus, when an influencer is promoting a product designed for crash dieting, it can lead to some seriously scary events taking place.
Should you Drink It?
Skinny Teas are not bad on their own. It’s possible that they do promote weight loss, much in the same as natural teas do. However, the way they’re promoted and who they’re targeted towards is concerning.
Brands that market these types of teas have a specific audience in mind. The ambassadors they use to sell their products reflect this. Media moguls with millions of younger generations following them are used to pedal this product.
The concern here is that the tea itself is being presented as a dietary supplement, to be used in the place of a proper diet. This can have extremely detrimental effects on a person’s health if they’re not consuming enough calories because of their diet restrictions.
Tea is a fantastic addition to a person’s diet. Not only does it taste great, but it supplies the body with some great nutrients proven to reduce cancer and support weight loss. But there’s the catch, tea supports weight loss. Tea should not be used as a healthy diet. It’s unable to give the body all that it needs.
Skinny-Tea is Not a Weight-loss Solution
Participating in these tea-cleanses suggested by these companies is essentially starving yourself. While you may lose weight temporarily (as you do when you don’t eat), it’s unsustainable and will not help you to maintain a healthy weight.
It’s important in current times to be aware that everything online is attempting to sell you something. Influencers are not immune to the pull of marketing, this is how they make their income.
When considering any product it’s necessary to do your research, to not trust everything you see on social media and to know that every trend passes. Being aware of advertising is the key to being a responsible social media user.