TAMPA, Fla. - Social influencers get millions of followers. Many tout their brand of fitness, nutrition, and healthy lifestyles.
The Barton twins have gained popularity with their Be Twin Fit Instagram profile.
"My twin sister and I have loved just eating healthy and working out and also helping our friends and family do the same thing," said Ashley Barton. "I like to show people ways that I meal prep for the week."
Barton said their posts are credible because both are registered nurses, but that's not the case with all health influencers.
Meghann Scholl, a clinical nutrition specialist at Tampa General Hospital, said look at everything with a critical eye.
"Anytime you see somebody who is making a medical claim as it relates to any sort of diet or nutrition supplement that should be a little bit of a red flag," said Scholl.
Watch out for blanket statements about nutrition trends, eliminating food groups, and blood type diets.
"There's just no evidence to support those types of diet modifications for any health or sustainable weight loss efforts," said Scholl.
A recent University of Glasgow study revealed just half of the influencers could present evidence for their nutritional claims.
"If you're following someone and you think they have good information and you're not sure if it's true or not you need to find evidence-based research that it is true or that it's false," said Scholl.
In Florida, you can check the credentials of health practitioners by going to the Florida Health Licensing and Regulation website, http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/index.html.