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How Does Social Media Cause Eating Disorders

Social media has effectively penetrated into our lives, be it our dinner table, classroom, or workplace. Social media has no boundaries and is especially the soft target for the children and teenagers who hook into their mobile phones 24 hours. So, in this article, you will come to know about the startling facts about how does social media cause eating disorders.

With a wide range of social media platforms used among all age groups, it is increasingly difficult to escape from the wrath of social media. But, do you know that social media may have a strong influence on a person's relationship with food or a fear of gaining weight?

Individuals who are struggling with an eating disorder, the constant streams of body and food-conscious posts may cause heightened levels of stress and anxiety to achieve that perfect body image.

Eating disorders are caused by many factors that influence someone to engage in destructive eating habits. Some of these factors include biological, psychological and environmental components that increase a person's likelihood of being diagnosed with an eating disorder.

So, read here to know more on how does social media cause eating disorders.

1. You Don't Like Dining Out

Your obsession with food goes so far that you can't stand anyone cooking for you, or not knowing exactly what's going into your food, this is one of the first symptoms of a social media influence on you. Obsessions over self-image and feelings of shame when you overeat foods, this really consumes a person's daily thoughts and actions. These things allow you to avoid dining out at restaurants.

2. You Won't Ever Touch Dessert

Sometimes, it is good to indulge in healthy sweet snacks. A healthy eater also enjoys his or her dessert on occasions and skips dessert at other times. However, an individual suffering with orthorexia nervosa (a medical condition in which the individual systemically avoids specific foods that they believe can be harmful to their health) won't dare eat or touch a dessert. Unless, it's made from healthy ingredients.

3. Obsession Over The Purity Of Food

Although, you may be spending a lot of time pondering over food, like someone with bulimia or anorexia. The social media influence can be the obsession over the quality and purity of the food and not necessarily tied to a desire to lose weight. A person has an obsession of how the food is prepared, processed and stored.

4. Avoiding Foods That Are Unhealthy

Those people who are looking to eat healthy, may limit the added sugar or saturated fats. And those suffering with eating disorders like orthorexia nervosa may completely avoid these foods. Surprised, isn't it? This lets you avoid foods viewed as unhealthy and the type of foods avoided and thought of as unhealthy may vary from person to person as well.

5. Avoiding Social Gatherings That Involve Food

Another social-media-caused eating disorder is avoiding social gatherings. The person becomes so obsessed with healthy eating that he or she starts isolating himself or herself by avoiding social gatherings like parties. The person stops going to places where there is food involved. When this kind of obsession starts hitting you, it begins to decrease the quality of life.

To minimize the risk of yourself being lead to eating disorders caused by social media, follow these tips.

1. Think properly of whom to follow on social media, which is the first step. Following food and fitness blogs can be motivating, however, the catch is to follow the right ones. Also, sometimes, it only takes one post to motivate yourself from within. So, instead look for those that promote positive thoughts and messages. These posts will make you feel good about who you are.

2. Follow food and fitness bloggers who fit your lifestyle. Bloggers who live a completely different life can leave you feeling like a failure. For instance, a fitness blogger in her 30's without kids might think she can help the mother of two kids, who works full time. But can she really relate to this? No right? So, it is essential that you find fitness bloggers who live the same life as you do, and who understand your lifestyle.

3. Don't be afraid to unfollow on social media. If you find yourself getting stressed out because you can't live up to the expectations, stop looking at those people's feeds. Make yourself strong from the inside and this will help you by not getting affected by other people's diet plan on social media. Research suggests that a leading social-media site use can lead to an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating.

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Story first published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 12:21 [IST]