|Title||The roles of social media, clean eating and self-esteem in the risk of disordered eating: A pilot study of self-reported healthy eaters|
|Authors||Fivian, E. and Wood, C.|
Background: Clean eating is a dietary trend focused on the avoidance of unhealthy foods. Social media encourages these highly restrictive diets and can lead to eating disorders and low self-esteem. This study examines the influence of dietary classification, social media use, diet quality and self-esteem on eating disorder risk amongst a healthy group. Method: Forty-one participants completed an online survey examining diet quality via the healthy eating index; and eating disorder risk using the eating disorder examination questionnaire (EDE-Q). Participants were also asked to complete Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale and reveal whether they defined their diet as either ‘clean’ or ‘pure’; reflective of the trend of clean eating. Participants also categorised the time spent on social media each day. Results: Independent t-tests revealed that participants who categorised their diet as ‘clean’ had significantly higher SE (t(39) = 2.729; P=.009); whilst greater time on social media was associated with elevated eating disorder risk (t(39) =-2.99; P=.005) and poorer SE (t(39) =-3.01; P=.005). Multiple linear regression revealed that social media usage was a significant predictor of eating concern (ß=.419; P=.01); whilst SE significantly predicted eating restraint (ß=-.423; P=.03); shape concern (ß=.217; P=.04); weight concern (ß=-.454; P=.008) and the global EDE-Q score (ß=-.437; P<.01). Conclusions: Both social media usage and self-esteem might play a key role in the development of eating disorders in a healthy group; with high social media usage also influencing self-esteem. Future research should examine how social media could be used to promote good self-esteem and thus reduce eating disorder risk.
|Journal||International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health|