Five Ways Celebrities Impact our Thoughts About Food

From Miley Cyrus’ new haircut to James Charles’ and Tati’s YouTube feud, we are intensely interested in celebrity lifestyles and actions. For worse or for better, we care about what celebrities do, eat, and say because we value their opinions and admire their lifestyles.

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Miley Cyrus shows off her new hair at the Met Gala 2019

This obsession impacts general consumer actions and trends. People who admire celebrities are likely to emulate their habits and preferences. Even those who do not prescribe to celebrity culture are often affected by their actions and opinions. Here are five ways that celebrities influence the food market and our perception of food:

1. They Influence Food Trends

Celebrities have a strong influence over which foods are popular and in vogue. From kale chips to açaí bowls, celebrities’ food preferences often become popular food preferences across the country. With a quote in a magazine or a post on Instagram, celebrities can have a huge impact on what foods sell well and which ones are forgotten or even ostracized. People magazine even has an entire website dedicated to tracking celebrity eating habits and cooking news.

2. They Make us Want to Spend a lot of Money on Food Resources

Celebrities have access to unprecedented culinary resources. Personal trainers, nutritionists and chefs work together to craft diets and meal plans for everyone from Kim Kardashian to Mama June Shannon. These resources help celebrities stick to strict diets or even just juggle their busy schedules with time to make food.

Most celebrities also have enough resources to purchase expensive and rare foods. Organic products, imported fruits, and production-intensive dietary supplements are often incorporated into celebrity diets. Money is also an important factor in purchasing these products, encouraging their followers to spend more money on food than the average American household.

When celebrities share their meals and diets with their followers, it entices their audiences to employ the same resources or, at the very least, wish they had the resources to do so. Unfortunately, these resources are out of budget for most Americans. According to a poll from Gallup, the average American spends $121 each week on food. That is the same price as one bottle of Gwyneth Paltrow’s collagen powder.

3. They Impact the Amount we eat

Celebrities’ relationships with food are often tied to their body image. They follow diets to affect their appearance and take supplements to improve their hair and skin health. This aspect of the celebrity relationship with food is largely part of why we obsess over their food habits. We want to look like celebrities, so we copy their diets and hope it will turn us into them.

Much like how celebrities influence the amount we spend on food, they also impact our eating practices. We look at portion sizes in Instagram photos and analyze how much celebrities eat on television shows. We look at what time they eat, how much they put on their plate, whether they eat solids or liquids, and the ratio of vegetables and fruit to carbs and fats. Even inadvertently, celebrities are constantly telling us how to structure our diets and eating practices.

Chrissy Teigen shares her dinner with her Instagram followers

4. They Know They Hold Influence and They use it

Some celebrities have taken advantage of their influence over the food market and taken a more active role in promoting their diets and food practices. Gwyneth Paltrow has famously created the health and wellness brand Goop which sells supplements and kitchen tools that supposedly help Paltrow maintain her healthy lifestyle. Model and author Chrissy Teigen also published a cookbook with her personal recipes and food preferences. Both Paltrow and Teigen are using their influence to promote their personal brand and generate income.

5. Brand Deals

Despite their widespread influence, many celebrities are not a trustworthy source of culinary or wellness information. Their social impact has been greatly exploited by the food industry. Companies like Sugar Bear Hair use celebrity platforms to promote their business and products. These partnerships often involve payment and do not always produce honest reviews. Celebrities’ influence can manipulate their audiences with their influence over their decisions, especially what they eat.

Kylie Jenner promotes Sugar Bear Hair on her Instagram

Do you listen to celebrity advice about food? Leave your opinion in a comment below.

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