Journal article

A thematic content analysis of #cheatmeal images on social media: Characterizing an emerging dietary trend

Eva Pila, Jonathan M Mond, Scott Griffiths, Deborah Mitchison, Stuart B Murray

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EATING DISORDERS | WILEY | Published : 2017

Abstract

Despite the pervasive social endorsement of "cheat meals" within pro-muscularity online communities, there is an absence of empirical work examining this dietary phenomenon. The present study aimed to characterize cheat meals, and explore the meaning ascribed to engagement in this practice. Thematic content analysis was employed to code the photographic and textual elements of a sample (n = 600) that was extracted from over 1.6 million images marked with the #cheatmeal tag on the social networking site, Instagram. Analysis of the volume and type of food revealed the presence of very large quantities (54.5%) of calorie-dense foods (71.3%) that was rated to qualify as an objective binge episod..

View full abstract