"Facebook provides a fun way to stay connected with friends but it also presents people, especially women, with a new medium through which they are confronted by a thin ideal that impacts their risk for eating disorders," explained Psychology Professor Pamela K Keel from the Florida State University.

Keel studied 960 college women and found that more time on Facebook was associated with higher levels of disordered eating.

Women who placed greater importance on receiving comments and 'likes' on their status updates, untag photos of themselves and compare their own photos to friends' posted photos, reported the highest levels of disordered eating.

"This is the first study to show that spending just 20 minutes on Facebook actually contributes to the risk of eating disorders by reinforcing women's concerns about weight and shape and increasing anxiety," Keel noted.

Eating disorders are associated with the highest rates of mortality of any psychiatric illness.

"Try to remember that you are a whole person and not an object, so do not display yourself as a commodity that then can be approved or not approved," said Keel in a study published in International Journal of Eating Disorders.


Latest News from Lifestyle News Desk