Life in Balance

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Study on Social Media and Eating Disorders

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Recent study done by the Department of Psychology at Florida State University examined how social media affects women’s body image.

Source: Central Valley Business Times for full article

“In examining the immediate consequences of Facebook use, we found that 20 minutes of Facebook use contributed to maintenance of higher weight and shape concerns and anxiety compared to a control internet condition. This causal link is important because anxiety and body image concerns both increase risk for developing eating disorders,” Ms. Keel says.

Facebook could possibly become a maintenance factor for prevention programs, the study suggests. The main objective is to encourage women to develop better self-image and practice responsible use of social media sites.

“Facebook merges powerful peer influences with broader societal messages that focus on the importance of women’s appearance into a single platform that women carry with them throughout the day. As researchers and clinicians attempt to understand and address risk factors for eating disorders, greater attention is needed to the emerging role of social media in young people’s lives,” Ms. Keel says.

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