Health trends are all the talk on TikTok

By Anastasia Climan, RDN, CD-N | Fact-checked by Barbara Bekiesz
Published February 16, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • TikTok is dominated by young people, generally under the age of 30, and they're keenly interested in health and well-being, according to statistics.

  • Sustainable food, environmental concerns, and mental health are common priorities for this group, and these topics are likely to be found in the health content they produce and consume on TikTok in 2023.

  • Compared to older generations, Gen Z and young Millennial TikTokers are examining their relationship with alcohol and working to improve their health and well-being.

Beauty tutorials and dance routines may be all the rage on the wildly popular social media platform TikTok, but health and wellness topics reign as well, according to statistics. Here's who is using TikTok and the leading health trends you can expect to see on the platform in 2023.

TikTok content reflects its audience

In 2022, women between the ages of 18 to 24 made up the vast majority (22%) of TikTok users.[] Men in this age group accounted for 17% of users, followed by women from 25 to 34 years old (17%). Older adults over 55 represent only around 2% of users.

Since TikTok is primarily driven by Gen Z users, common priorities for this group, including environmental friendliness and mental health, are likely to be found in the health content they produce and consume.[]

A focus on food

Gen Z is a highly educated population with a strong interest in food. Not only are members of this group concerned about where their food comes from, but they also want to understand how it impacts their quality of life and mental health.

Over half of Gen Zers use technology to track their daily eating habits, and 82% of women in this age group report an interest in food’s effect on mental health.[]

Given these values, it should come as no surprise to see a rise in food-focused content on TikTok for 2023. Videos may range from what to buy at the grocery store (including sustainable food brands and money-saving tips) to how to prepare dishes with exotic flavors and health-promoting properties. Vegan diets and meat alternatives have gained interest over the past few years for health-conscious and climate-concerned social media users, along with associated videos promoting plant-based eating. 

In addition, grocery hauls and videos detailing daily food logs are likely to stay popular as long as Gen Z dominates TikTok. And as we continue to emerge from the isolation of the pandemic, people are eager to dine out and vlog about their experiences with food while traveling.

Drink less, work less

Younger generations using TikTok view wellness as a top priority. Compared to past generations, Gen Z and young Millennials are examining their relationship with alcohol, work, and anything that stands in the way of feeling their best.

Market research indicates that Gen Zers buy and consume less alcohol than older generations.[] But rather than forgoing a drink altogether, this cohort is experimenting with an expanded lineup of non-alcoholic beers and cocktails, noting health as their motivation for making the change. That’s not say that this group has sworn off alcohol altogether. Instead, Gen Zers are opting for more red wine and choosing to splurge on expensive alcohol for special occasions.

Topics that will likely carry over into TikTok videos include success stories on cutting back on alcohol, reviews of non-alcoholic beverages, and videos glamorizing rare luxury alcohol purchases.

TikTok content related to the working world has also made an appearance. Although often controversial, stories of people quitting their jobs have become popular on the platform and are seen as taking a stand against overworking or unfair work conditions. An increased focus on the hazards of burnout has promoted trends like quiet quitting and setting boundaries at work that resonate with many TikTokers. Vloggers sharing their experience with entrepreneurship, side hustles, career changes, or working less may grow as people seek solutions for a healthy work-life balance.

Bite-sized workouts

TikTok’s video platform lends well for showcasing quick at-home workouts and high-energy dance routines. Home-based exercise gained popularity during pandemic-related gym closures and remains desirable among remote workers and busy young parents.

As fitness influencers and trainers seek to promote their services on TikTok, they’ll need to continue to innovate and excite audiences in the hopes of going viral with the latest workout craze.

Since things aren’t always what they seem on social media, TikTokers should be aware that unattainable body standards fueled by carefully curated lighting, artful camera angles, video editing, and sometimes steroids shouldn’t always be taken at face value. While it’s possible to find fun workouts on TikTok, studies show that taking a week off from social media does a world of good for anxiety, depression, and general well-being. []

What this means for you

Young people under 30 years of age, the so-called Generation Z cohort, are popular users of TikTok. With their interest in the environment, sustainability, food, and healthy well-being, they frequently consult this platform for information and advice on these topics. These trends are expected to continue, with discussions of vegan diets, meat alternatives, alcohol substitutions, exercise workouts, and work-life balance remaining prominent. Clinicians may want to keep the role of TikTok and Gen Z’s values in mind in relating to their younger patients.

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