One day just after dinner I sat to check out some short format videos. All I had in mind is to while away some 5-10 happy minutes. However, I kept on scrolling and scrolling up. Minutes turned into hours before I came to my senses. Short videos are so captivating. These have power to deliver crucial information in minutes. On the flip side, many TikTok video dangerous for us as they can also spread false information like wildfire.
Be it TikTok, Instagram reels or YouTube shorts, all are hit. At present short videos are hugely in trend, because these are so engaging. These can glue someone to phone screen altogether. This post is about awareness on how many most viewed videos on TikTok spread misinformation.
Why is short video dangerous in terms of health? How short videos especially most viewed videos on TikTok lead to misinformation?
During covid pandemic people were looking for new ways how to spend time productively at home during lockdown So there came a tsunami of contents on internet, which is still soaring up. Close to this covid and post-covid time, short video formats started trending too.
Short video contents have a brief life span of popularity. Thus, there is a constant pressure on content creators to upload more and more videos on internet. Sometimes user puts even 10-15 videos a day as vodcasts. Increase in quantity reduces quality of contents. Less research on a topic means, more likely it is conveying bogus informations and not facts. That’s why short video dangerous to consume.
Moreover, anyone can make video on a medical topic. He may be an influencer or general public, and not necessarily an expert on the subject. Neither credentials of that person posting the video is checked nor authenticity of video is verified.
in present era of internet people are yet to find out how to get away from social media addiction. TikTok is one such addiction. TikTok is a phenomenal platform exclusively for short format videos. It has got over 1.1 billion users in such a narrow span of time. But guess what! Around 20% of its content are misleading. When it comes to health, it is always a sensitive matter. Thus, you need to be ultra-careful about videos related to nutrition and health on TikTok.
Below are 7 misinformation provided by some most viewed videos on TikTok which are utterly deleterious to health.
1. Preserving avocado in water
Avocado is a fruit gaining traction these days. Mostly because, it is one of the foods with high Omega 3 fatty acid. A video surfaced on tiktok showing how to preserve avocado. It claimed that avocado placed in water and preserved inside refrigerator, stays ripe and fresh for days.
But is it really safe and healthy to take it ? So what happens when avocado is stored in water for days?
There can be bacteria, like Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella on avocado’s surface. Water gives them a medium to proliferate. Later these bacteria gain access to avocado.
Consuming these infected avocados gives rise to food poisoning. This is the reason why avocado preservation video dangerous and misleading. Thusly, USFDA (U.S. Food and Drug Association) warns against keeping avocados in this manner. Correct way is to wash avocado with normal water and wipe up with a clean dry cloth and then store it in fridge.
2. ADHD video dangerous and misinformative
ADHD belong to spectrum of Autistic Spectrum Disorders where language and social development of a child are impaired. Of late TikTok came up with numbers of videos on ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperkinetic Disorders).
It’s nice that TikTok videos are spreading awareness about ADHD. But many such videos are utter misinformation. And people believe them naively. These incur more harm than good. So, if you are seeking for factual information regarding ADHD or any other medical condition then follow advice of a medical professional.
3. Powdered green
It’s a powder made out of vegetables, sweets, vitamins, minerals and fibers. It became a smash hit through TikTok videos. But no one tells you in those videos that it has injurious chemicals, artificial elements and toxic doses of vitamins. Thus, never take powder green. Instead add wholesome fruits and veggies to diet.
4. Frozen honey
A TikTok trend started, where people reserved honey in deep freezer after mixing with other sweeteners. Then they took it afterwards. Downside of this is frozen honey is concentrated in sugar. Thereby it gives rise to a sudden surge in blood sugar level, which is not healthy. Thus, frozen honey is unfavorable and unadvisable. And this is why, frozen honey video dangerous to our health.
5. Lemon coffee
Some random TikToker squeezed lemon juice into coffee. He claimed that this will reduce weight miraculously. But let me tell you, this is a trap. There is no scientific testament backing it. Lemon coffee is not a weight loss friendly food.
IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a group of bowel symptoms. IBS affects digestive system. There are videos related to this syndrome over internet, most of which circulate false information.
You must know that there are a variety of diseases with almost identical symptom as IBS. So, if you have any bowel symptom, instead of being shy about it and following through some random TikTok video with zero credential, talk to a doctor about it. Don’t self-diagnose and self-treat based on speculation.
7. Mediterranean diet
What is Mediterranean diet?
It’s a chosen diet taken by Mediterranean people of Greece and Italy. This diet is ample in green fruits and vegetables, beans, olive oil and moderate in fish, meat, egg etc. Mediterranean diet is said to be heart healthy. There are countless TikTok videos on Mediterranean diet. These are some of the most viewed videos on TikTok. But many of these video dangerous and misleading.
Not necessarily all so-called Mediterranean foods that are on TikTok videos are good for heart. So always double check these facts.
A recent study concludes that almost 50% people rely on internet to hunt for health-related information and do not approach health professional. But when internet is swamped with misinformation it is difficult to find out what’s right or wrong as a viewer’s point of view. Even most viewed videos on TikTok are not trustworthy.
In my previous blogs I had discussed how internet is spreading misinformation about covid, how herd immunity works for covid and basic facts about hand sanitizer. Internet is deceptive. Even most viewed videos on TikTok are not verified.
Oft-times it happens that the person who claims to be an expert knows as much as you know or may be less than that. Consequently, people get misguided by these videos and suffer. Then they come to OPD to seek medical help at last minute when things get complicated.
What is your take on short format videos like TikTok?
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