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Anyone with an Instagram or Facebook account would’ve no doubt been inundated with clean eating posts at some point (or several points) in their social media life.

Usually it’s a pic of something like a green smoothie or gym selfie with the hashtag #cleaneating or #eatclean.

While many are all for promoting a healthy lifestyle, others view it as self-indulgent spam.

So who are the worst offenders?

According to new University of Canberra research, men are uploading more clean eating posts on social media than women!

It’s a finding that surprised UC’s Assistant Professor Dr Michael Walsh and the University of London’s Dr Stephanie Baker.

Given the weight-loss industry’s focus on women, we expected them to feature more frequently in clean eating posts than men,” Dr Walsh said.


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The study looked into how gender identities are presented on Instagram using popular clean eating hashtags.

“Clean eating is highly relevant to the study of gender because it is an embodied endeavour, using the body as a system of classification to signify health, status and character,” Dr Walsh said.

The researchers analysed 144 top posts (according to likes and comments) that used the hashtags #cleaneating and #eatclean.

They found images largely focused on the effects of clean eating, like the body, rather than pictures of food.

In many of the posts, men flexed their muscles to show how “clean eating” has benefited them.

“In almost all instances, the users would present themselves as visibly healthier, happier and more attractive as a result of their lifestyle, making a connection between lifestyle, appearance and identity,” Dr Walsh added.

Do people post about clean eating to promote that positive lifestyle, or to see if they can get the most likes and comments? Have your say at our Facebook page!

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