Types of discourse disseminated by food influencers: Trends on Instagram in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom




Palabras clave:

Food communication, Health communication, Instagram, Social media, Social networks, Influencers, Opinion leaders, Nutrition, Sport, Diets, Visual communication


This research examines the discourse of nutrition influencers on Instagram within five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) during 2021. The research aims to analyse the visual and textual content disseminated by these influencers and compare the predominant narratives among them. The corpus consists of 98 food influencers, and computer vision networks were employed to analyse visual discourse, linguistic analysis software for text analysis, and quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse hashtags. While promoting global trends (such as vegetable juices or bowls made with natural and unprocessed cereals, nuts, and fruits) to a lesser extent, influencers from the five countries highlight traditional food from their respective cultures in their visual discourse. The predominant discourse in all countries promotes the need for physical change through exercise and nutrition, sometimes fostering a diet culture. Sports and fitness are present in the discourse of influencers from these five countries, predominantly emphasising weight loss, muscle gain, and sports training with specific diets. Sports plays a significant role, with a preponderance of photographs depicting physical transformations and the promotion of food products and sports brands through inspiring images. Spain stands out in this regard as having the most images showing physical changes, especially in women. Although no evidence has been discovered to suggest that the sponsorship of unhealthy foods affects consumers’ preferences for them, the results show the widespread promotion of diet-related goods and foods. Notably, the real food movement was not emphasized in this extensive data analysis.


Los datos de descargas todavía no están disponibles.

Biografía del autor/a

Lorena Cano-Orón, Universitat de València

Lorena Cano-Orón is an Assistant Professor of Journalism at the University of Valencia. She earned her PhD in Communication and Interculturality with an International Mention in 2019 from the University of Valencia, where she was awarded the extraordinary prize for it. Her research focuses on the analysis of content dissemination in social networks, particularly in the areas of health and political communication. She is an active member of the research groups Mediaflows and ScienceFlows.

Empar Vengut-Climent, Universitat de València

Empar Vengut-Climent is a researcher, communicator and manager of European an National projects related to Health and Science Communication at the ScienceFlows group in the University of València. She holds a BSc in Pharmacy, a MSc in Experimental and Industrial Organic Chemistry, a PhD in Chemistry with an International Mention and a MSc in Journalism and Communication of Science, Technology, Environment and Health.


Bastian, Mathieu; Heymann, Sebastien; Jacomy, Mathieu (2009). “Gephi: an open source software for exploring and manipulating networks”. Proceedings of the international AAAI conference on web and social media, v. 3, n. 1, pp. 361-362. https://doi.org/10.1609/icwsm.v3i1.13937

Boepple, Leah; Thompson, Joel-Kevin (2014). “A content analysis of healthy living blogs: evidence of content thematically consistent with dysfunctional eating attitudes and behaviours”. International journal of eating disorders, v. 47, pp. 362-367. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.22244

Calvo-Roy, Antonio; Moreno-Castro, Carolina (coords.) (2021). Periodismo y pandemia, reflexiones urgentes en periodismo científico en España, una especialidad con pasado, presente y futuro. Fundación Ramón Areces, Madrid. https://www.fundacionareces.es/fundacionareces/es/publicaciones/listado-de-publicaciones/periodismo-cientifico-en-espana-una-especialidad-con-pasado-presente-y-futuro.html?tipo=3

Casino, Gonzalo; Rabassa, Montserrat (2021). “Good to eat. Food and health at a time of information overload”. Mètode science studies journal, v. 11, pp. 104-105. https://doi.org/10.7203/metode.11.19796

Chao, Jason (2021). Memespector GUI: graphical user interface client for computer vision APIS [software] (versión 0.1). https://github.com/jason-chao/memespector-gui

Chung, Chia-Fang; Agapie, Elena; Schroeder, Jessica; Mishra, Sonali; Fogarty, James; Munson, Sean A. (2017). “When personal tracking becomes social: examining the use of Instagram for healthy eating”. CHI’17: Proceedings of the 2017 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems, v. 2, pp. 1674-1687. https://doi.org/10.1145/3025453.3025747

De-Veirman, Marijke; Cauberghe, Veroline; Hudders, Liselot (2017). “Marketing through Instagram influencers: the impact of number of followers and product divergence on brand attitude”. International journal of advertising, v. 36, n. 5, pp. 798-828. https://doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2017.1348035

De-Veirman, Marijke; Hudders, Liselot (2020). “Disclosing sponsored Instagram posts: the role of material connection with the brand and message-sidedness when disclosing covert advertising”. International journal of advertising, v. 39, n. 1, pp. 94-130. https://doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2019.1575108

Dickinson, Kacie M.; Watson, Michelle S.; Prichard, Ivanka (2018). “Are clean eating blogs a source of healthy recipes? A comparative study of the nutrient composition of foods with and without clean eating claims”. Nutrients, v. 10, n. 10. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101440

Donghong, Cheng; Claessens, Michel; Gascoigne, Toss; Metcalfe, Jenni; Schiele, Bernard; Shi, Shunke (2008). Communicating science in social contexts: new models, new practices. New York: Springer Science. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8598-7

Dumas, Audrée-Anne; Lapointe, Annie; Desroches, Sophie (2018). “Users, uses, and effects of social media in dietetic practice: scoping review of the quantitative and qualitative evidence”. Journal of medical internet research, v. 20, n. 2, e55. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.9230

Ellison, Kirsten; Truman, Emily; Elliott, Charlene (2023). “Picturing food: the visual style of teen-targeted food marketing”. Young consumers, v. 24, n. 3, pp. 352-366. https://doi.org/10.1108/YC-08-2022-1577

Ferrer, Sergio; Peñafiel-Saiz, Carmen (2023). Informar sobre salud. Informando ciencia con ciencia. Fundación Lilly and The Conversation. Editorial: Debate. ISBN: 978 84 19642288 https://shorturl.at/invW1

García-Puertas, David (2020). “Influencia del uso de Instagram sobre la conducta alimentaria y trastornos emocionales. Revisión sistemática”. Revista española de comunicación en salud, v. 11, n. 2, pp. 244-254. https://doi.org/10.20318/recs.2020/5223

Gil-Quintana, Javier; Santoveña-Casal, Sonia; Romero-Riaño, Efrén (2021). “Realfooders influencers on Instagram: from followers to consumers”. International journal of environmental research and public health, v. 18, n. 4. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041624

González-Oñate, Cristina; Martínez-Sánchez, Adela (2020). “Estrategia y comunicación en redes sociales: un estudio sobre la influencia del movimiento realfooding”. Ámbitos, n. 48, pp. 79-101. https://doi.org/10.12795/Ambitos.2020.i48.05

Goodman, Michael K.; Jaworska, Sylvia (2020). “Mapping digital foodscapes: digital food influencers and the grammars of good food”. Geoforum, v. 117, pp. 183-193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2020.09.020

Hawkins, Lily; Farrow, Claire; Thomas, Jason M. (2021). “Does exposure to socially endorsed food images on social media influence food intake?”. Appetite, v. 165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2021.105424

Herrero-Ruiz, Laura; Navarro-Beltrá, Marián (2021). “Diferencias de género en la comunicación de las y los “influencers”: el caso de los instagramers gastronómicos”. Cuestiones de género: de la igualdad y la diferencia, n. 16, pp. 526-554. https://doi.org/10.18002/cg.v0i16.6970

Hudders, Liselot; De-Jans, Steffi; De-Veirman, Marijke (2021). “The commercialization of social media stars: a literature review and conceptual framework on the strategic use of social media influencers”. International journal of advertising, v. 40, n. 3, pp. 327-375. https://doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2020.1836925

Hudders, Liselot; Lou, Chen (2023). “The rosy world of influencer marketing? Its bright and dark sides, and future research recommendations”. International journal of advertising, v. 42, n. 1, pp. 151-161. https://doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2022.2137318

Jacomy, Mathieu (2013). Table 2 Net [computer software]. https://medialab.github.io/table2net

Jacomy, Mathieu; Venturini, Tommaso; Heymann, Sebastien; Bastian, Mathieu (2014). “ForceAtlas2, a continuous graph layout algorithm for handy network visualization designed for the Gephi software”. Plos one, v. 9, n. 6, e98679. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0098679

Kent, Rachael (2020). Self-tracking and digital food cultures. Digital food cultures. Routledge, Bingdon, United Kingdom. ISBN: 978 1 138392595 https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429402135-3

Kozinets, Robert; Patterson, Anthony; Ashman, Rachel (2017). “Networks of desire: how technology increases our passion to consume”. Journal of consumer research, v. 43, n. 5, pp. 659-682. https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucw061

Luján-García, Carmen-Isabel (2021). “Anglicisms in the area of food and drinks among Spanish speakers. Why are anglicisms used to refer to food and drinks related terms in Spanish?”. Analele Universitatii din Craiova. Seria stiinte filologice, lingvistica. http://hdl.handle.net/10553/113069

Marti-del-Moral, Amelia; Arrúe-Ishiyama, Sofía-Aimi (2021). “Ultra-processed food intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review”. Anales de la Real Academia Nacional de Farmacia, v. 87, n. 3, pp. 339-350. https://doi.org/10.53519/analesranf.2021.87.03.09

McCarthy, Mark; Cluzel, Elodie; Dressel, Kerstin; Newton, Rachel (2013). “Food and health research in Europe: structures, gaps and futures”. Food policy, v. 39, pp. 64-71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2012.12.005

Moreno-Castro, Carolina (2006). “Ingredientes mágicos y tests clínicos en los anuncios como estrategias publicitarias”. Comunicar, v. 14, n. 27, pp. 123-128. https://doi.org/10.3916/C27-2006-19

Moreno-Castro, Carolina; Vengut-Climent, Empar; Mendoza-Poudereux, Isabel; Serra-Perales, Ana (2021). “Which has more influence on the Spaniard’s citizens dieting: the media’s information and social networks, health professionals or close experiences of relatives and friends?”. In: Public communication of science and technology conference, Aberdeen. https://shorturl.at/zJP18

Mota, João-de-Jesus-Oliveira; De-Almeida, Lorena-Casseb; Sarges-Neves, Vaina Hellaine; Barros-da-Silva, Elenilma; De-Almeida-Oliveira, Dyanara (2019). “Analysis of posts contents on food posted by digital influencers on the Instagram social media”. Demetra: alimentação, nutrição & saúde, v. 14, e39076. https://doi.org/10.12957/demetra.2019.39076

Omena, Janna-Joceli; Elena, Pilipets; Gobbo, Beatrice; Jason, Chao (2021). “The potentials of Google Vision API-based networks to study natively digital images”. Diseña, n. 19. https://doi.org/10.7764/disena.19.Article.1

Peeters, Stijn (2022). “Zeeschuimer”. Zenodo, v. 1.8.0. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8399900

Peeters, Stijn; Hagen, Sal (2022). “The 4CAT capture and analysis toolkit: a modular tool for transparent and traceable social media research”. Computational communication research, v. 4, n. 2, pp. 571-589. https://computationalcommunication.org/ccr/article/view/120

Pilař, Ladislav; Stanislavská, Lucie-Kvasničková; Kvasnička, Roman; Hartman, Richard; Tichá, Ivana (2021). “Healthy food on Instagram social network: vegan, homemade and clean eating”. Nutrients, v. 13, n. 6. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061991

Pilgrim, Katharina; Bohnet-Joschko, Sabine (2019). “Selling health and happiness how influencers communicate on Instagram about dieting and exercise: mixed methods research”. BMC Public health, v. 19. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7387-8

Pinto, Vinícius-Rodrigues-Arruda; De-Abreu-Campos, Rafael-Faria; Rocha, Felipe; Emmendoerfer, Magnus-Luiz; Vidigal, Márcia-Cristina-Teixeira-Ribeiro; Da-Rocha, Samuel-José-Silva-Soares; Della-Lucia, Suzana-Maria; Melo-Cabral, Laura-Fernandes; De-Carvalho, Antônio-Fernandes; Perrone, Ítalo-Tuler (2021). “Perceived healthiness of foods: a systematic review of qualitative studies”. Future foods, v. 4, 100056. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fufo.2021.100056

Qutteina, Yara; Hallez, Lotte; Mennes, Nine; De-Backer, Charlotte; Smits, Tim (2019). “What do adolescents see on social media? A diary study of food marketing images on social media”. Frontiers in psychology, v. 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02637

Qutteina, Yara; Hallez, Lotte; Raedschelders, Maxime; De-Backer, Charlotte; Smits, Tim (2022). “Food for teens: how social media is associated with adolescent eating outcomes”. Public health nutrition, v. 25, n. 2, pp. 290-302. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980021003116

Riesmeyer, Claudia; Hauswald, Julia; Mergen, Marina (2019). “(Un)Healthy behaviour? The relationship between media literacy, nutritional behaviour, and self-representation on Instagram. Media and communication. v. 7, n. 2. https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v7i2.1871

Romero-Cantero, Tamara; González-Díaz, Cristina; Quintas-Froufe, Natalia (2022). “La comunicación de los influencers veganos en Instagram: el caso español”. Cuadernos.info, n. 52, pp. 307-329. https://doi.org/10.7764/cdi.52.38267

Saboia, Inga; Pisco-Almeida, Ana-Margarida; Sousa, Pedro; Pernencar, Cláudia (2018). “I am with you: a netnographic analysis of the Instagram opinion leaders on eating behaviour change”. Procedia computer science, v. 138, pp. 97-104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2018.10.014

Saboia, Inga; Pisco-Almeida, Ana Margarida; Sousa, Pedro; Pernencar, Cláudia (2020). “Dietitians and nutritionists’ behaviour on social media: a scoping literature review”. Proceedings of the 13th international joint conference on biomedical engineering systems and technologies, science and technology publications, v. 5, pp. 530-538. http://hdl.handle.net/10400.8/6732

Saboia, Inga; Pisco-Almeida, Ana-Margarida; Sousa, Pedro; Pernencar, Cláudia; Silva, Rui (2021). “What are dietitians and nutritionists doing on social media? A proposal of an online survey”. Procedia computer science, v. 181, pp. 793-802. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2021.01.232

Sbardelotto, Jackson; Birck-Martins, Bárbara; Buss, Caroline (2022). “Use of social networks in the context of the dietitian’s practice in Brazil and changes during the Covid-19 pandemic: an exploratory study”. JMIR publications, advancing digital health & open science, v. 6, n. 2. https://doi.org/10.2196/31533

Schneider, Elizabeth P.; McGovern, Emily E.; Lynch, Collen L.; Brown, Lisa S. (2013). “Do food blogs serve as a source of nutritionally balanced recipes? An analysis of 6 popular food blogs”. Journal of nutrition education behaviour, v. 45, n. 6, pp. 696-700. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2013.07.002

Stano, Simona (2022). “Beyond nutrition: meanings, narratives, myths”. Springer, v. 19. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-81115-0_11

Truman, Emily (2022). “Influencing diet: social media, micro-celebrity, food, and health”. Springer, Singapore, pp. 143-163. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-4290-6_8

Turner, Pixie G.; Lefevre, Carmen E. (2017). “Instagram use is linked to increased symptoms of orthorexia nervosa”. Eating and weight disorders, v. 22, n. 2, pp. 277-284. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-017-0364-2

Van-Royen, Kathleen; Pabian, Sara; Poels, Karolien; De-Backer, Charlotte (2022). “Around the same table: uniting stakeholders of food-related communication”. Appetite, v. 173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2022.105998

Villegas-Simón, Isabel; Fernández-Rovira, Cristina; Giraldo-Luque, Santiago; Bernardi, Alessandro (2022). “Radiografía de los micro-influencers en la economía de las plataformas digitales: insatisfacción, trabajo gratuito y desigualdad en la retribución”. Revista latina de comunicación social, n. 80, pp. 452-474. https://doi.org/10.4185/RLCS-2022-1805

Walsh, Michael-James; Baker, Stephanie-Alice (2020). “Clean eating and Instagram: Purity, defilement, and the idealization of food”. Food, culture & society, v. 23, n. 5, pp. 570-588. https://doi.org/10.1080/15528014.2020.1806636

Winzer, Eva; Naderer, Brigitte; Klein, Simeon; Lercher, Leah; Wakolbinger, Maria (2022). “Promotion of food and beverages by german-speaking influencers popular with adolescents on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram”. International journal of environmental research and public health, v. 19, n. 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191710911

Yale Computer Graphics Group (2022). Image preview [computer software]. https://gephi.org/plugins/#/plugin/imagepreview

Ye, Guoquan; Hudders, Liselot; De-Jans, Steffi; De-Veirman, Marijke (2021). “The value of influencer marketing for business: a bibliometric analysis and managerial implications”. Journal of advertising, v. 50, n. 2, pp. 160-178. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.2020.1857888

YouGov (2023). “Celebrity endorsements: How impactful are they for telco brands?”. YouGov, September 22. https://yougov.co.uk/topics/technology/articles-reports/2021/09/22/celebrity-endorsements-how-impactful-are-they-telc

Zappavigna, Michele (2016). “Social media photography: construing subjectivity in Instagram images”. Visual communication, v. 15, n.3, pp. 271-292. https://doi.org/10.1177/1470357216643220

Zappavigna, Michele; Ross, Andrew S. (2021). “Instagram and intermodal configurations of value: Ideology, aesthetics, and attitudinal stance in #avotoast posts”. Internet pragmatics, v. 5, n. 2, pp. 197-226 https://doi.org/10.1075/ip.00068.rap



Cómo citar

Von-Polheim, P., Cano-Orón, L., & Vengut-Climent, E. (2023). Types of discourse disseminated by food influencers: Trends on Instagram in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Profesional De La información Information Professional, 32(6). https://doi.org/10.3145/epi.2023.nov.18



Artí­culos de investigación / Research articles