Young adults who binge on social media are at risk for binge eating, as well.
According to a new study, social media junkies are more likely than their less social peers of developing body image and eating disorders.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that those who logged the most time during the day on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube were more than twice as likely to have eating and body image problems, according to the study.
Researchers surveyed 1,765 people between the ages of 19 and 32 about their social media use. Then they used another questionnaire to screen for eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating disorder.
In the May issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, scientists previously reported “a strong and consistent association between social media use and eating concerns.”
Other studies have shown that people tend to selectively post pictures on social media that make them appear thinner, perpetuating distorted views of the human body, University of Pittsburgh researchers noted.
“We’ve long known that exposure to traditional forms of media, such as fashion magazines and television, is associated with the development of disordered eating and body image concerns, likely due to the positive portrayal of ‘thin’ models and celebrities,” lead study author Jaime Sidani, assistant director of Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health, said in a statement.
“Social media combines many of the visual aspects of traditional media with the opportunity for social media users to interact and propagate stereotypes that can lead to eating and body image concerns.”
Maybe it’s time for a social media diet.
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