Researchers link Instagram use to eating disorders

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.

See more on health:

19 PHOTOS
World's healthiest vegetables
See Gallery
World's healthiest vegetables

18. Romaine lettuce

Getty

17. Artichokes

Getty

16. Cauliflower

Getty

15. Green pepper

Getty

14. Tomato

Getty

13. Corn on the cob

Getty

12. Okra

Getty

11. Carrot

Getty

10. Green peas

Getty

9. Cabbage (raw)

Getty

8. Brussel sprouts

Getty

7. Winter squash (baked)

Getty

6. Broccoli

Getty

5. Mixed vegetables

Getty

4. Kale

Getty

3. Spinach

Getty

2. Potato, baked

Getty

1. Sweet potato

Getty

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

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.

Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.