It’s no surprise that there’s a lot of unsolicited (and misguided) health advice floating around the Internet, and our Instagram feeds, in particular. But this health influencer’s latest claim has followers questioning everything.
Eleni Chechopoulos, who is a health influencer and self-described “gut and hormone nutritionist,” took to Instagram recently to tell her 11,000 followers that it’s their shampoo that could be causing weight gain.
In the lengthy post, Chechopoulos wrote, “Managing weight isn’t only about calories in vs. calories out.”
“Enter obesogens. Chemicals that disrupt HOW your body creates and stores fat – found in shampoo, toothpaste, grocery store receipts, shower curtains, makeup, perfume and so. much. more.”
The health influencer went on to claim that “even though you eat healthy and exercise every day, you still might battle the scale because of your SHAMPOO.”
Obesogens are a real thing, and according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) refer to “specific chemicals” that have been found to “disrupt normal metabolic processes and increase susceptibility to weight gain across the lifespan.”
However, experts have clapped back at Chechopoulos’ claims. Belinda MacDougall, the CEO of The Healthy Happy Co told News.com.au “to say shampoo is the reason we are overweight is ridiculous and while chemicals in all beauty products can be bad for our health, weight gain is far more related to what we eat.”
“Sadly, I think our weight gain has more to do with the cereals, takeaway, pizza, processed foods, wine, beer and soft drinks.”
Twitter users are also calling BS on Chechopoulos’ post, causing the health influencer to switch her account to private.
The NIEHS states that “unhealthy diet and lack of exercise are the main factors that contribute to weight gain and obesity, but studies have found that obesogens may also be playing a role.”
Chechopoulos’ claim that shampoo in general can cause weight gain is a pretty sweeping statement. The NIEHS notes that Phthalates, found in shampoo and other consumer products to make them softer, is an example of an obesogen.
The NIEHS suggests avoiding obesogens by eating fresh fruit and veges, reducing plastic use, not using plastics in the microwave, buying furniture that hasn’t been treated with flame retardants and choosing fragrance-free products.
It’s no surprise that Chechopoulos has landed herself in hot water for making ballsy weight gain claims. A recent report from the ABC stated that social media influencers are putting people’s lives at risk by promoting superfoods, wellness advice and alternative medicine on Instagram.
Instagram and health influencers with a captive audience need to understand the power of their platform and think twice before offering far-fetched, and at times, baseless health and wellness advice to their followers.