Excess social media use is causing eating disorders, finds Canadian study

A new study in psychology finds that youth with body image concerns are more likely to spend excessive amounts of time on social media sites, contributing to eating disorder behaviour.

The effect of social media sites like Facebook and Instagram on self-esteem and body issues has been watched closely for some time now, with experts concluding that the more time spent on social media, the greater the risk of developing a host of psychological issues including, very prominently, eating disorders like bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

“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,” says Jaime E. Sidani, assistant director of the Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health.

 

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