Young women who spend a lot of time on Facebook are more likely to have a negative body image, a new study has found.

Women in their late teens and early 20s were more likely to compare their own body with that of their friends if they spent more time on social media, and Facebook in particular.

Researchers found a connection between increased negative feelings about their appearance and the young women’s Facebook number of hours, something which could lead to eating disorders and depression.

The study inquired into how often women of university age in Britain and the U.S. compared their bodies with their peers in relation to Facebook use, diet and exercise habits and body image.

Researchers were able to predict how often women felt negatively about their own bodies after looking at someone else’s photos or posts, and how often women compared their own bodies to those of their friends.

The more time a young woman spends on Facebook, the likelier she is to have negative feelings associated with her own body and the more she will compare her own to the bodies of friends.

The study also found that women who want to lose weight pay more attention to their physical appearance the more time they spend on Facebook.

A 2013 survey found that 76 per cent of women want to lose at least ‘a few pounds’.

Two thirds of respondents used Facebook as their social media of choice and 75 per cent spend at least one hour a day on the platform.

Although more than half said other people’s Facebook posts about fitness and health inspired them, 22 per cent felt envious and 15 per cent said it made them feel guilty if they aren’t currently sticking to their own diet and fitness routine, according to women’s online magazine SheKnows.

Previous studies have examined college or adolescent girls and the effect of Facebook on users’ body image over non-users’. However, this is the first study to link time spent on Facebook to poor body image… see more

source: dailymail UK