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Is Facebook Fueling Weight Obsession Disorders?

If spending time on Facebook is causing you to have a negative perception of your body, you are apparently not alone. A new study from an Eating Disorders program in Maryland has determined that Facebook is fueling a culture of weight obsession.

The study surveyed 600 Facebook users between the ages of 16 and 40. More than half of those surveyed admitted that Facebook makes them more self-conscious about their bodies and weight. Some of those with the most negative feelings toward Facebook were men, which goes against the perception that only women obsess over their weight. While more women admitted to wanting to lose weight than men, twice as many men had posted negative Facebook comments about their bodies.

One of the study’s architect’s, told TechNewsDaily that Facebook makes people more continually aware of their appearance. “A common reaction is, ‘I need to be thinner’. And it’s that kind of thinking that can lead to Hazardous dieting.”

When people are feeling self-conscious about their looks, many people can avoid scales and mirrors. However, Facebook since Facebook is ubiquitous in our society, it’s getting harder to avoid. In fact, Facebook’s new timeline feature makes it easier than ever to compare the way you look now to the way you looked several years ago. The results can be disparaging and cause people to obsess about their weight, in hopes of looking the way they did earlier in their timeline.

The  increasing prevalence of smart phones with cameras are making it more and more likely that when someone goes out, pictures of them will end up tagged in their timeline.

Facebook is fueling a mentality where one always has to be ready for the cameras. People look at Facebook before important public events and choose not to go. Instead, they compare themselves with their former selves and determine that they don’t look good enough.

It seems highly plausible that Facebook can fuel serious eating disorders, a fact that is alarming considering that photo sharing social media sites seem to only be getting more and more popular.

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