Facebook and Negative Body Image
Facebook. You log on to connect with friends and colleagues, post pictures and market your wares. But could that daily networking session be hurting your self-esteem?
According to the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt, in Baltimore, the answer is yes. Researchers reached this conclusion after surveying 600 Facebook users, aged 16–40.
Here are some insights:
- 51% of respondents feel more conscious of their body and weight after seeing photos of themselves.
- 32% feel sad when comparing photos of themselves with friends’ photos.
- 44% wish they had the same body or weight as a friend when they look at photos.
- 37% feel they need to change parts of their body when comparing friends’ bodies with their own in photos.
- 25% are happy with their current body and weight.
The researchers also noted that Facebook users were prone to engage in negative behaviors:
- 31% have avoided specific food items, food groups or entire categories of food in an attempt to lose or control weight.
- 17% have engaged in binge eating; 7% have purged.
- 12% currently have or have had an eating disorder; 8% have thought they might have an eating disorder.
“Facebook is making it easier for people to spend more time and energy criticizing their own bodies and wishing they looked like someone else,” explained Harry Brandt, MD, director of the organization. “In this age of modern technology and constant access to smart phones and the Internet, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to remove themselves from images and other triggers that promote negative body image, [lead to] low self-esteem and may ultimately contribute to eating disorders.”
Want to steer your clients toward body-positive Facebook pages? Here are a few, courtesy of the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt:
- Proud2BemeUS, www.facebook.com/proud2bmeusa
- The Illusionists, www.facebook.com/theillusionists.org
- Adios Barbie, www.facebook.com/pages/adios-barbie/25567278752
- End Fat Talk, www.facebook.com/fattalkfree
- The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt www.facebook.com/eatingdisorderhelp
For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.
© 2012 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
|Extreme Interval Training
In this course you'll learn goal-focused intervals and over 50 dynamic exercises and drills to create extensive and intensive training formats.
|Cut to the Core
This is a raw, unedited video filmed live at the 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention™. Cut to the Core is packed full of core-focused exercises that aim to improve the way you look, feel and live.
|September 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal Quiz 4: Plyometric Training
This continuing education quiz is an in-depth look at plyometric training. Plyometric exercises—jumping, bounding, hopping, arm pushing, and catching and throwing weighted objects such as machine balls—are movements that involve rapid eccentric and concentric muscle actions.