The Link Between Eating Disorders and Social Media

Social media has made the world a much smaller place. Connecting with old friends over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is a wonderful way to stay in touch that requires much less effort than before.

Unfortunately, social media also connects people with similar interests that could be detrimental to their health. According to Life Works, groups that encourage eating disorders have formed that prior to social media were much harder to find.

Eating disorders are on the rise, and experts believe it could be due to the pressure they feel today brought on by social media. Caused by variety of factors such as genetics, psychology, culture and environment, eating disorders are a complex mental disorder. There has been a 15% increase since 2000 and the number of children and teenagers seeking help has risen 110%. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness at 20%. Of the people suffering from anorexia, 20% die due to physical complications including suicide and heart problems.

Teens maintain a constant presence in social media, with 95% of kids 12-17 on the internet. Eight out of ten use some sort of social media and 67% use social media daily.

There are a lot of dangerous trends rising. See more in the infographic below.