Women's Use of Social Media: What Is the Evidence About Their Impact on Weight Management and Body Image?

Curr Obes Rep. 2019 Mar;8(1):18-32. doi: 10.1007/s13679-019-0324-4.


Purpose of the review: This review aims to summarize recent research on the effects of social media-delivered weight management interventions on weight loss and the impact of social media use on body image concerns in women and adolescent girls.

Recent findings: Evidence supports the feasibility, but not the efficacy, of studies using single-component social media-delivered weight management interventions (i.e., including no other modes of intervention delivery) in women. Studies conducted in adolescent girls and women suggest that the impact of social media on body image outcomes is mostly detrimental, but is dependent on the context (e.g., exposure to idealized social media appearance images), peers' feedback, and constructs, such as appearance comparison tendency. More research is needed to conclude on the efficacy of social media-delivered interventions on both weight and body image outcomes and to understand how and when exposure to social media could promote effective weight management and also advocate positive body image in women.

Keywords: Adolescents; Body image; Review; Social media; Weight management; Women’s health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Body Weight*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Peer Group*
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Media*
  • Women's Health*