Culture Post: Many Parents Worry About Social Media’s Impact on Kids’ Body Image

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.

About 7 in 10 American parents are concerned that social media trends related to appearance and editing apps and filters are harming their children’s body image, a new survey shows.

Among those polled, about 69% of parents expressed worry about these editing apps and filters, which can completely change the look of someone’s face and body. This may make them appear to meet some supposed standard of beauty.

Also, about two-thirds said that trends related to diet and exercise also had a negative influence, according to the survey results released May 23 by the On Our Sleeves Movement for Children’s Mental Health, from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

A young person’s feelings about their body can affect their mental health, said Erin McTiernan, a contributor to On Our Sleeves and a pediatric psychologist at Nationwide Children’s.

Children may compare themselves to these unrealistic standards or feel this is how they should be because of the numbers of “likes” they get on social media for a certain look, McTiernan said.

“We know that those algorithms tend to then send kids more of those videos or images that they are maybe interested in and are looking at. If they’re following things that are potentially harmful, things like certain trends, those ‘what I eat in a day’ videos or videos about certain exercise routines, then that becomes the main source of what kids are consuming online,” McTiernan said.

That can lead to an increased likelihood of developing disordered eating, anxiety and social anxiety, she said.

The survey was conducted in late March and early April by the Harris Poll on behalf of On Our Sleeves. It surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults, including 711 parents of kids younger than age 18.

Source: HealthDay

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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