Fitspiration Instagram Posts Linked To Eating Disorders
#Fitspiration Instagram posts are being linked to eating disorders and compulsive exercise according to a study. The popular hashtag has more than 10 million posts and is usually captioned to pictures of men and women working out in the gym, eating healthy and showing off their toned bodies.
A research titled "Strong Beats Skinny Every Time: Disordered Eating And Compulsive Exercise In Women Who Post Fitspiration On Instagram" published by International Journal of Eating Disorder looked into more than 200 women. A group of 101 women who regularly post fitspiration images was compared to another group of 102 women who regularly share images of their travel.
The researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia found out that the two groups had a similar body mass index, though it varies slightly in the average age. To identify the risk of a clinical eating disorder, the study used categories from the Eating Disorder Inventory.
Drives for thinness, bulimia and body dissatisfaction of the participants were also assessed. Compulsive exercise was also tested by using a four-item emotional element scale, which measures feelings of shame and depression when they miss an exercise session.
The study reveals that women who posted fitspiration images have higher scores on the drive for thinness and bulimia scale compared to those who posted travel photos. The first group also scored high in compulsive exercise scale and drive for muscularity scale. The result in body dissatisfaction scale is not statistically significant.
The authors wrote that women who posts fitspiration images on Instagram are more likely to have eating and exercise regimen that could be harmful to their physical and mental health. Around 17.5 percent of women in the study belong to this category. Regular posting of fitspiration on Instagram may be a way to rationalize dietary restriction, eating disorder and over-exercising, the authors added.