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What images and content do professional dietitians share via Instagram?

Elif Inan-Eroglu (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey)
Zehra Buyuktuncer (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 28 September 2018

Issue publication date: 23 October 2018




In the age of information, where people can have an easy access to knowledge, the ethical and content-based examination of dietitians’ sharing in the social media is an important step in determining what to share in the social media in the future. The purpose of this study was to analyse the content of Instagram shares of dietitians, a profession group that is becoming more and more widespread in Turkey.


Publicly available dietitian Instagram profiles, aiming specifically at those with =500 followers, were included in the study. The hashtag was chosen as #onlinediyet (Turkish for online diet). A total of 1,986 images were identified for analysis. When these images were identified, 883 images were excluded. Thus, overall 1,103 Instagram images were chosen to analyse during a week’s period. Each Instagram image was classified into one of seven categories by authors as food, individual, nutrition information, motivational, miscellaneous, physical activity and recipe. Food and individual groups were also coded into subgroups.


A descriptive analysis of the 1,103 online-diet-related images shared by dietitians showed that 53.5 per cent of the images were in food category. There were no differences between female and male dietitians in terms of categories of shared images (p > 0.05). Dietitians also shared individual images (34.5 per cent) including weight loss follow-up (56.2 per cent), self-portrait (22.0 per cent) and conversation with clients (14.0 per cent) images on Instagram.


The results of this study set a baseline for future studies. Given the rapid growth of this platform in recent years, not only the field of dietetics but also other health-care fields would benefit from clear guidelines about what information can or cannot be shared on social media.



Inan-Eroglu, E. and Buyuktuncer, Z. (2018), "What images and content do professional dietitians share via Instagram?", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 48 No. 6, pp. 940-948.



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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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