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BMC on WWJ 950: Eating Disorders & Facebook


Did you miss the interview?  You can hear a recording of it here

A recent study published in International Journal of Eating Disorders reported by The Daily Mail, suggests social media use can be linked to the development of eating disorders.

The study followed 960 female college students. Researchers found that the women who spent the most time on Facebook had the highest levels of body image problems and were the most likely to have an eating disorder. Spending 20 minutes on Facebook increased anxiety about body weight and shape. Interestingly, however, the study showed that it was not the overall amount of time spent on the site, but the amount of time spent looking at pictures that determined the girl’s risk of an eating disorder.


This study reflects similar research Birmingham Maple Clinic has already revealed on social media depression and self esteem. Comparing the number of friends, followers, or likes on social media sites impacts young people’s sense of self esteem or value. Comparison to others can lead to depression or anxiety and teens are the most at risk. Teens may seek social medial to boost mood but may be discouraged or disappointed when they start comparing to others, which causes the cycle to repeat.


Birmingham Maple Clinic therapist Carrie Krawiec, LMFT explained this dynamic to Sean Lee of WWJ 950 in an interview on the connection of Facebook use to Eating Disorders. Carrie helped parents to identify concerning social media behaviors and directed parents to become informed of all of the social media apps their children may be using beyond Facebook. Paying attention to hashtags such as #thighgap, #thinspo, and even #fomo may be starting places for parents.


If you are concerned your child is using Facebook and other social media sites in a way that is contributing to depression, anxiety, self esteem issues, or an eating disorder it may be important to be evaluated by a therapist. To talk to a therapist at Birmingham Maple Clinic you can call (248) 646-6659 or visit www.birminghammaple.com


To read more about the study mentioned above visit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2573675/How-Facebook-trigger-eating-disorder-Too-time-site-makes-body-conscious-food-obsessed.html#ixzz2vBnPc94N