Digital media has helped many teenagers socially connect and communicate, but it has also fuelled their eating disorder addictions. This is why there are substantial social media safety and cyberbullying concerns
Professor Julie Morley from The University of Bath led a group of international researchers to analyse current research around social media use and the development of eating disorders among adolescents. The research was based on a 10-year study that tracked and analysed eating behaviours of more than 1,200 young people.
Commenting on the findings, Professor Morley said: “Interventions that might change eating patterns in adolescents that use social media are probably difficult. Part of this is about the risk that adolescents get frustrated as they cannot control their use of social media, and do not feel they have control over their relationship with online content.”
However, she added that while internet use has had the potential to exacerbate eating problems, it has also offered teenagers an “increasingly important option for social interactions”.
“This has resulted in the majority of these adolescents being exposed to positive information and positive opinions in their social media posts,” Professor Morley added.
So how can you tell if you’re one of the ‘lucky’ adolescents who can deal with it?