Is Facebook a new threat in the growing trend of eating disorders and poor body image for teenage girls? According to a survey conducted in Israel the more time teenage girls spend on the popular social networking site, Facebook the more likely these young teenage girls will develop a eating disorder and poor body image.
As eating disorders among young teenage girls become even more rampant many girls suffering from a poor body image strive to become skinny. These Facebook teenage girls use dangerous eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia and extreme dieting.
Teenage Eating disorders include many abnormal mental and behavioral illusions related to food and body weight, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The new Facebook eating disorders study, was carried out by Prof. Yael Latzer, Prof. Ruth Katz and Zohar Spivak Faculty members of Social Welfare and Health Sciences at the University of Haifa. The Israeli Professors examined the effects of two factors leading to the cause of eating disorders in young teenage girls: exposure to the media and self-empowerment.
A group of 248 girls aged 12-19 took part in the survey. These girls were asked to provide information on their Facebook and television viewing habits. Regarding television, the girls were asked to give the number of popular shows related to extreme standards of body image (the “Barbie” model) that they watched. The young teenage girls also filled out questionnaires that examined their approach to dieting, bulimia, physical satisfaction or dissatisfaction, their general outlook on eating, and their sense of personal empowerment.
The three University Professor’s research showed showed that the more time teenage girls spend on Facebook, the more they suffered eating disorders of bulimia, anorexia, poor body image, negative physical self-image, dangerous approach to eating and the need to diet and become skinny. Teenage girls extensive online exposure to fashion and music content showed similar poor body image tendencies, but manifested in fewer types of eating disorders.
A direct link was also found between viewing gossip and leisure related television programs (like “Gossip Girl”) and eating disorders in young teenage girls. The Facebook eating disorders study also revealed that the level of personal empowerment in these young teenage girls is linked to eating disorders.
The researcher’s found that parents who were involved with their daughters while conducting the Facebook Eating Disorders study and discussed key body image issues with their kids had a overall higher self-esteem and personal empowerment. During the Facebook Eating Disorders study the researcher’s found that eating disorders and poor body image prevention lies in an understanding of how parents decisions can have effect on the young teenage girl’s sense of empowerment. reinforcing a young teenage girl’s sense of personal empowerment is a means to strengthening body image. The Facebook Eating Disorders study showed that a parent has the ability to prevent dangerous behavioral disorders and a negative dangerous eating behavior.
Parents could act as a shield of steel for these young teenage girls, allowing them to feel good about themselves regardless of the tides of negative jibber-jabber and illusions flowing from Facebook, Gossip Girl etc.
Read the Entire Haifa university study HERE