The following is excerpted from an online article posted by CTV News.
Researchers at Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal have found a correlation in teenagers between the amount of time spent on social media and restrictive eating behaviors or eating disorders.
The findings were published in the journal Psychology & Health and followed 3,801 high school students over five years.
“Social media makes you feel less good about yourself and promotes a desire to be thinner, to have concerns about your weight, and potentially engage in restrictive behaviors,” said lead author Patricia Conrod.
Her previous work researching a link between social media and depression was used during a 2021 Congressional hearing where Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was questioned about the link.
Conrod said it can fuel a downward spiral where looking at an app can generate negative emotions, but instead of turning away, it can lead to more time scrolling.
“The more you are in a lower mood, the more you’ll turn to social media, and the more social media will impact on your mood in a negative spiral,” she said.