Healthy Eating Tips: Regularly Viewing Food and Fitness Posts on Instagram May Lead to Eating Disorder, Say Experts

Too much Instagram can be damaging to one's mental health, says a new study from the United Kingdom's Royal Society of Public Health.


According to The Daily Mail, those who use the social media application Instagram were found to be more likely to get depressed and develop low self-esteem after using it. Not only that, many of these users start to have poor body image, which can result to the eating disorder, orthorexia nervosa.

The study involved 680 female participants who were surveyed regarding the different social media apps they often use. They were also asked to identify 19 kinds of food they eat and were given a questionnaire to assess any orthorexic symptoms they might feel or see.

The National Eating Disorders Association described orthorexia nervosa as an eating disorder where people tend to have an "unhealthy obsession" towards healthy food and eating

Results from the survey showed that those who spend a lot of time scrolling through Instagram were more prone to develop the said eating disorder.

A similar research conducted by University College London noted that the social media app, which features photos, can have a negative effect on one's psychological wellbeing and be a catalyst for mental illness.

An anonymous respondent to the report said that Instagram tend to make people feel as if they aren't "good enough," said CNN.

"Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren't good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look 'perfect,'" she said.

Because of the rising concern, the Royal Society for Public Health has urged the creators and developers of these social media applications to take an active stance in helping users fight feelings of insecurity with a warning that the photos posted have been digitally altered.

"We're not asking these platforms to ban Photoshop or filters but rather to let people know when images have been altered so that users don't take the images on face value as real," said the report's author, Matt Keracher.

He added, "We really want to equip young people with the tools and the knowledge to be able to navigate social media platforms not only in a positive way but in a way that promotes good mental health."

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