Watching what you eat for the sake of health is generally considered a good thing, but becoming overly obsessed with what you eat for the sake of Instagram isn't.
One look on Instagram and it's #yogagirl this and #breakfastbowl that.
The hashtags were enough for researchers at the University of College London to study the link between Instagram use and the eating disorder 'orthorexia nervosa,' also known as ON.
Around 700 females, all with a healthy BMI, were given a survey on what social app they use, how often and their food habits. They were also given a questionnaire commonly used to assess ON symptoms.
High levels of usage on Instagram were in fact associated with a greater tendency towards ON.
ON is different than anorexia in that anorexia is starvation with the intent to lose weight. ON, on the other hand, is the obsession with healthy foods and healthy living that can have unhealthy consequences such as malnutrition. It's also not clinically labeled as an eating disorder.
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Still, Instagram is worse than other social apps for developing ON likely because it's all pictures which have more effect than long blogs or posts.
Experts suggest Instagrammers who are obsessed with clean eating be aware of their bodies and how social pressures are affecting their health.