As reported in a recent article by Education News, there is a new study just published that links social media use by young adults with body image issues. The National Cancer Institute provided funding for the study, and the University of Pittsburgh conducted the survey of young adults. The results of the new study show that young adults who spend more than 121 minutes per day on social media sites had more than double the risk for eating disorders than their average peers. Essentially, the study found that the more teens checked social media, the more likely they are to develop body image and eating disorders in general. What was particularly interesting about the study is that the results did not vary based on age, gender or race.
One important thing to keep in mind about the significance of the study is that the University of Pittsburgh’s Schools of the Health Sciences Brian A. Primack, M.D, Ph.D., noted that it is not currently possible to determine whether social media usage caused body image issues or that adults with body image issues tend to check social media more. The study included a total of over 1,700 American adult participants under the age of 32. The average response to the questionnaire for the study indicates that the average participant spent a little over an hour each day checking social media sites. In total, average participants in the study responded that they check social media sites more than 30 times each week.