Researchers have found that excessive use of social media, particularly platforms with a strong focus on image posting and viewing such as Snapchat and instagram, is associated with eating disorder in young adolescents. For the study, published in the international Journal of Eating Disorders, researchers examined data on 996 grade 7 and 8 adolescents.
"While a range of studies have focused on the impact of social media on body image, this is the first to examine the relationship between specific social media platforms and disordered eating behaviours and thoughts," said study lead author Simon Wilksch from Flinders university in Australia. Also, most other studies had focused on older adolescents or young-adult women, he said.
The study on associations between disordered eating and social media use among young adolescent girls and boys suggested that much more needed to be done to increase resilience in young people to become less adversely impacted by social media pressures, Wilksch added.