Facebook Use Linked to Eating Disorders in Women?

FacebookA recent study shows that a high amount of Facebook use could be linked to women suffering from eating disorders. While other social media sites are guilty of it, the 10-year-old site is the most troublesome. It makes sense really, considering the amount of people who use the site and the type of posts that are placed on a daily basis.

There are a lot of selfies posted on a daily basis. People like to show off their toned figures, and many women share their weight loss pictures with their friends. It leads to many others looking at the Facebook posts and wishing that they could be just like their friends. They start to compare their bodies, their looks and everything else about themselves with their friends and family members.

Every girl has been there are some point; even those who believe they are 100 percent happy with themselves. It is a natural part of the esteem to look at someone else and believe they have something better. Some women are just better at handling those negative thoughts than others.

Some women are able to look at the photos, posts and articles that are posted daily and use them as inspiration. It all depends on the self-esteem, and the type of content people allow themselves to be subjected to on a daily basis.

According to SheKnows online magazine, Facebook use is not directly linked to eating disorders in women. The survey from 2013 showed that 22 percent were envious of their friends, while over 50 percent used posts as inspiration and another 15 percent felt guilty because they were not currently sticking to their own diet or fitness plan.

This in no way shows that eating disorders are more likely due to the social media use. In fact, the joint study undertaken by the University of Ohio and University of Strathclyde, Glasgow also found that there was not a direct link to eating disorders. The link is to more women being worried about their body shape and issues.

The problem is that the study and survey do not show who felt motivated or guilty. It could be people who are overweight and need to shed a few pounds. However, it could be people who have low self-esteem, despite being at a healthy weight. These people could fall into the trap of an eating disorder.

There is a current issue with the media, and the portrayal of the “perfect female shape.” Too many magazines and TV shows focus on skinny, instead of healthy. This was noticed on The Biggest Loser this year, after the winner lost so much that she was considered underweight on the Body Mass Index (BMI) scale. The network and producers of the show never spoke out about the large weight loss, despite the show’s aim at helping people to lose weight healthily.

Social media use is not likely to go down any time soon. While people are moving away from the number one network, there are still plenty of people using it for inspiration. However, more and more people who use Facebook feel guilty and envious about their friends and the body shapes they see, and the high use could be linked to more women struggling with eating disorders.

Opinion by Alexandria Ingham


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