News: Researchers from Georgia College & State University, and Chapman University explored the relationship between social media, eating disorders, and compulsive exercise. They found that the use of microblogs and mobile phone applications that provide “fitspiration”, may promote eating disorders and compulsive exercise behaviours.
Individuals who use mobile applications to monitor their diet and exercise are more likely to develop eating disorders and feel the need to exercise in order to “feel good” about themselves.
There is a lot of content on social media (like tweets or microblogs on weight loss or microblogs) on eating and living healthy that encourage people to go on diet or exercise. But, these social media messages exacerbate the effects of an eating disorder.
In the new study, researchers set out to examine different types of online communities and activities, including blogging, microblogging and using mobile apps to monitor diet and exercise.
‘Plenty of previous work has documented the ways in which young people can be particularly vulnerable to the effects of media use in this area of body image,’ said Veronica Hefner, one of the authors of the paper. ‘But it seems from our study that “fitspiration” content is specifically related to risky behaviors like compulsive exercise and eating disorder symptoms, especially among those young people who use mobile apps on a frequent basis.’
To Know More You May Refer To:
Hefner, V., Dorros, S. M., Jourdain, N., Liu, C., Tortomasi, A., Greene, M. P., Brandom, C., Ellet, M., & Bowles, N. (2016). Mobile exercising and tweeting the pounds away: The use of digital applications and microblogging and their association with disordered eating and compulsive exercise. Cogent Social Sciences, 2(1), 1. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2016.1176304