With the surge of social media, more and more people are entrusting their health to certain profiles we all know as influencers. Whether it’s Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Twitch, many users “inform” themselves about health matters directly affecting them. From including or excluding certain foods and using specific dietary supplements to subscribing to novel treatments and utilizing dubious credibility and effectiveness diagnostic systems, the topics related to nutrition, dietetics, lifestyle, and health are a continuous trending topic with various hashtags.

However, amidst this deluge of information, users face contradictory messages, leading to what’s termed as ‘infoxication.’ The information presented often takes the form of pseudo-miraculous proposals, promoting everything from alkaline water consumption to tailored diets for each phase of the menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, much of this information lacks scientific basis, leading to confusion and vulnerability among consumers.

Regulatory Issues and Unethical Practices

According to a study conducted by the European Commission and consumer protection entities, an alarming 77% of Spanish influencers violate European regulations and engage in unfair commercial practices. The investigation aims to highlight consumers’ vulnerability when faced with influencer advertising, much of which isn’t easily identifiable as such.

To address these issues, Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs has issued warnings to influential figures engaging in unethical practices. However, the identities of most offenders remain undisclosed, except for a few who have seized the opportunity to garner self-promotion, as seen in the case of Carlos RĂ­os.

Motivations of Influencers: Beyond Monetary Gain

Conflicts of interest among influencers stem not only from financial incentives but also from ego and competitiveness. The pursuit of prestige, popularity, and visibility often drives influencers to produce content that may not align with ethical standards.

Identifying Unreliable Content and Profiles

While there are no foolproof methods to identify nutritional charlatanism on social media, certain characteristics can raise red flags. These include overly simplistic solutions to complex health issues, excessive focus on body image, and endorsements of specific products or services without transparency about commercial relationships.

Ethical Advertising and Regulatory Frameworks

The emergence of social media has revolutionized advertising, with influencer marketing becoming increasingly dominant. However, ethical concerns arise when influencers fail to disclose promotional content or mislead their followers.

Regulatory frameworks vary across Europe, with France implementing stringent laws to regulate commercial influence on social media. These regulations prohibit the promotion of certain aesthetic practices and mandate clear disclosures of commercial relationships.

Indicators of Reliable Content and Profiles

In contrast to unreliable content, trustworthy influencers clearly disclose commercial relationships, promote products consistent with their profile, provide references to scientific literature, and engage with their audience transparently.


In conclusion, while social media has democratized information dissemination, it has also amplified misinformation and undermined critical thinking. Users must exercise discernment, skepticism, and independent judgment when navigating health-related content on social media platforms.

Ultimately, nutrition and dietetics are evolving sciences, subject to ongoing research and debate. Users should approach health advice on social media with caution, recognizing that genuine progress often comes from evidence-based practices rather than sensationalized claims.