GB: Comparing yourself to fitness influencers (and how it correlates with attitudes to health)
April 25th, 2022, Christien Pheby

GB: Comparing yourself to fitness influencers (and how it correlates with attitudes to health)

In recent years, there have been concerns about the role that fitness influencers play in people’s attitudes towards their personal health – with arguments over whether they’re providing good advice, spreading fake news, or promoting a healthy body image.

Data from YouGov Profiles shows that 11% of Britons compare themselves to fitness influencers on social media. This group skews female (59% vs. 41%) and overindexes on the 18-34 demographic (69% are aged 18-34 vs. 28% of the general public).

More importantly, comparing yourself to fitness influencers has some striking correlations with other attitudes towards general health and wellbeing. Britons who weight themselves up against social media stars are more than twice as likely to say that advertising affects their body image (80% vs. 35% nat rep and that they feel pressure from the media to lose weight (79% vs. 37%).

A propensity to micro-manage mealtimes is perhaps a logical extension of this. Comparing yourself to fitness influencers means you’re more likely to count calories (57% vs. 24%) or limit eating food you enjoy to look good or stay thin (60% vs. 27%). Weighing yourself against these powerful figures on social platforms even makes you more likely to consider plastic surgery (55% vs. 22%).

With all this in mind, there is a question mark over whether the influencer comparisons are feeding these attitudes, or if people who already have these attitudes are more likely to look at themselves next to social media stars and find their image wanting.


YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

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