Do you "like" my photo? Facebook use maintains eating disorder risk

Int J Eat Disord. 2014 Jul;47(5):516-23. doi: 10.1002/eat.22254.


Objective: Social media sites, such as Facebook, merge two factors that influence risk for eating disorders:media and peers. Previous work has identified cross-sectional and temporal associations between Facebook use and disordered eating. This study sought to replicate and extend these findings using an experimental design.

Method: In Study 1, 960 women completed self-report surveys regarding Facebook use and disordered eating. In Study 2, 84 women were randomly assigned to use Facebook or to use an alternate internet site for 20 min.

Results: More frequent Facebook use was associated with greater disordered eating in a cross-sectional survey. Facebook use was associated with the maintenance of weight/shape concerns and state anxiety compared to an alternate internet activity.

Discussion: Facebook use may contribute to disordered eating by maintaining risk for eating pathology. As such, targeting Facebook use may be helpful in intervention and prevention programs.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety
  • Data Collection
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Self Report
  • Social Media* / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult