Since the dawn of the Internet, websites dedicated to pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia have existed.
For some people suffering from eating disorders, social media has become a haven where they can share information and images and build groups around similar interests.
However, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest have provided a global forum for these groups to communicate their thoughts and photos.
Users encourage one another’s harmful behaviors by sharing ideas and tactics, promoting the idea that an eating disorder is a lifestyle choice rather than a serious mental condition.
The eating disorder treatment is not as same as the alcohol addiction treatment because the reasons for both disorders vary significantly from one another.
What Is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa is one of the most common eating disorders in which the person restricts his/her food intake to appear slim or to reduce weight. Even if a person is already slim, this eating disorder can drive them to be thinner.
The impression of physical weight and form is skewed, and it has a disproportionately negative impact on a person’s self-esteem. Weight loss and nutritional imbalance, as a result, can result in significant problems, including death.
Obsessions and worry over food and weight can lead to boring eating habits, including a fear of being seen eating in public. It’s fairly rare for persons with anorexia nervosa to collect recipes and cook for family and friends yet not eat what they’ve cooked. They may also follow tight, intense workout programs to shed or maintain weight.
Reasons Behind Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is caused by various causes rather than a single cause.
These variables are frequently split into three categories: predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors, which make a person more likely to acquire, trigger the development of, and perpetuate an eating problem.
Anorexia nervosa frequently starts off as simple dieting to get in shape or eat healthier but quickly escalates to dangerously low weight loss. Anorexia nervosa may be caused or maintained by social attitudes regarding body image, familial influences, genetics, and neurochemical and developmental factors.
It’s typical to have a personal or family history of anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Although it was formerly thought that families with anorexia nervosa had issues with conflict resolution, rigidity, intrusiveness, and overprotection, it is now obvious that parents do not cause eating disorders.
According to research, specific parts of the brain operate differently in those who have an active eating disorder.
Prevalence Of Anorexia Nervosa Among Adolescent Girls
During adolescence, girls are more preoccupied with their physical appearance than guys.
With the anxiety of being big, adolescent females are more concerned about reducing weight. Anorexia nervosa is a type of self-starvation characterized by a distorted body image that leads to limited eating and other behaviors that prevent a person from gaining weight.
It is most frequent in teenage females, although it can also afflict boys, especially in the prepubescent age range.
According to recent studies, an estimated 5%-15% of young girls suffer from anorexia nervosa every year.
Unfortunately, eating disorders may not be limited to the adolescent years, and young people may carry them into college and their professional careers. While eating disorders should never be encouraged, the increased self-awareness that social media may provide may assist newcomers in avoiding overindulging.
If people could use the internet to learn to play a new instrument or learn tech blogging instead of focusing their attention on how they look and what people say, things would have been different.
How Is The Internet Fueling Anorexia Nervosa?
The link between social media use and eating extends beyond food. It is, in many respects, a matter of body image, which may be both positive and harmful.
We have discovered that social media has favorable benefits on body image, such as healthy eating, exercise, etc.
However, when people compare their looks to others on social media, it can have a major detrimental impact. This is because social media has imposed the ‘selfie trend.’
We spend more time looking at ourselves through the eyes of other people the more images we publish on social media of our events, activities, new haircuts, and vacations. Never before has it been so simple to snap photos of oneself and share them with the rest of the world.
While people enjoy praises, they are seldom prepared for the inevitable criticism that follows.
Unlike celebrities and influencers, who may take the time to have their photos professionally snapped to seem picture-perfect, the typical user relies on selfies taken with a smartphone and then posts them. Unfortunately, a lousy snapshot may be worth a thousand words, especially if the comments are overwhelmingly critical.
When the comments are so critical, teenage girls are bound to feel that they are ugly, and they try to fit into the social norm of fit and pretty. Hence, people start crash dieting, and that also without consulting a professional dietician.
When you go on social media, you’ll be flooded with information about what diet you should be on, what size you should be, etc. This has all the ingredients for a poor body image and acceptance of one’s own identity.
Allowing young people to think about who they are and having this unrealistic expectation of who they should be has contributed significantly to the rise in anorexia nervosa.
The Internet dictating how you should look is terrible enough for young people, but when you add hormones to the mix, it’s easy to see how social media may be driving anorexia nervosa in teenagers and even younger children.
The agony of adolescence, uneasy self-awareness, and wanting to fit into the social norm or cool kids club is difficult enough.
When they are confronted with their uploaded photos and friends’ comments that do not match how they imagine themselves to appear in their heads, they may experience body shame, bullying, and eating disorders.
Therefore, our suggestion would be to steer clear from these posts and comments and accept your beauty because unless you can love yourself, nobody else can love you.
Therefore, if you require further details on the internet’s impact on fueling anorexia nervosa among young girls, let us know in the comment section. We will get back to you with a reply in no time.