Could spending a lot of time on Facebook cause women to be insecure about their body image? Show Notes

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook looking at pictures of your friends? That may not be such a good idea. 

The BBC is reporting on new research that found that looking at pictures of friends on social media sites can cause women to be insecure about their body image,

It turns out the more that women are exposed to "selfies" and other photos on social media, the more they compare themselves negatively.

And looking at friends' photos may actually have a greater impact than looking at celebrity pics.

Research shows that young women are particularly high users of social networking sites and post more photographs of themselves on the internet.

To look at the impact on body image, researchers surveyed over 800 female college students in the US.

The women answered questions about their Facebook use, eating and exercise regimes, and body image.

The research team found a link between time spent on social networks and negative comparisons about body image.

The more time women spent on Facebook, the more they compared their bodies with those of their friends, and the more they felt negative about their appearance.

Researcher Petya Eckler says "The attention to physical attributes may be even more dangerous on social media than on traditional media…because participants in social media are people we know.

Dr. Ecker points out that those comparisons are more relevant and hit closer to home—but may just as unrealistic as the images we see on TV or in magazines.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.
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