The study doesn’t make any claims about actual weight gain. Rather, this new research reveals that we feel fatter after looking at all the “skinny pics” our friends post. And let’s face it, our friends only post the most flattering photos of themselves. Here’s a perfect example:
The new study from the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Maryland surveyed 600 Facebook users, ages 16 to 40. More than half said that Facebook makes them more self-conscious about their bodies and weight. And men were some of those with the most negative feelings.
“Facebook is an influential factor in developing severe eating disorders,” said Steven Crawford, associate director at the center.
When you’re unhappy with the way you look, it’s easy to avoid mirrors. But it’s becoming pretty tough to go without Facebook. Eighty percent of those surveyed log onto Facebook at least once a day. It’s impossible to avoid seeing photos of yourself and your friends. But we’re not just looking — we’re comparing.
And now with Facebook’s new Timeline profile format, you can map your own slide from fit to fatty over the years.
“Facebook is fueling a “camera-ready” mentality,” Crawford said. “People look at photos before an upcoming high school reunion and decide not to go.” Why? Because they think they don’t look good enough for the Facebook photos to follow.
The center has tips for people suffering from Facebook-induced body envy, including subscribing to Facebook pages such as “Adios Barbie” and “End Fat Talk.” But in the end, if you can’t stop making negative comparisons between yourself and others, just log off.