Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Mazour, B. 2023. Encouraging or Guilt-inducing? An Analysis of Fitspiration Content and Its Effect on Body Image and Lifestyle Changes. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Brenna Mazour 2023.


More people are acquiring their nutrition and exercise information from social media accounts called fitspiration. Analyses of fitspiration content have found the focus to be on restrictive diets and excessive exercise that’s appearance driven. Although its intent is to inspire its consumers to change their lifestyle, many speculate that it brings upon negative body image and induces guilt. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) has been used to determine why people take part in certain health behaviors, such as diets or exercise regimens posted on fitspiration. TPB shows how the characteristics of social media discourage people to use fitspiration as motivation, and is more likely to cause negative feelings. Besides the promising claims and images on fitspiration, there are no diets that will lead to the same and quick weight loss results for every person. Health at Every Size© is an approach to diet and exercise that focuses on sustainable lifestyle choices to lead to an improved mindset with self, food, and exercise. Social media users can follow guidelines to limit the negative feelings attached to viewing social media content.