Yikes! People Who Use Dating Apps Are More Likely To Have Eating Disorders

May 31, 2019  |  

Gotta capture that beauty

Source: Jay Yuno / Getty

A lot of us are using dating apps to connect with people in the dating game. They are a convenient way to meet the masses without lifting a finger. But it can also be a very shallow way of evaluating a future partner. We scroll through a hundred photos swiping right or left without every really digesting what the person has to say or offer, and we’re all doing it.

The Pew Research Center revealed 27% of adults from 18-24 are using apps, up from 11% back in 2013. A 2017 study suggests usage for adults 18 to 29 could now be up to 30%.

This frequent usage may be great for meeting people, but it might not be great for our mental health. New research suggests this superficiality is harming our self esteem. Not only are we flipping through other’s photos and evaluating them purely on their physical appearance, but we are also criticizing ourselves.

A report from the Journal Of Eating Disorders found that for folks 18 and 65, they found that people using dating apps were 2.7 to 16.2 times more likely to have an eating disorder than those who opt out of apps.

“Individual dating app users are continuously engaging in a cycle in which they are evaluating profile pictures and brief descriptions of others, yet are being subject to scrutiny themselves,” author Dr. Alvin Tran, a postdoctoral associate at the Yale School of Medicine told CNBC.

Of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation. It could be people with eating disorders are more likely to use them to begin with.

“While we do not know if the people in our study were already engaging in these weight control behaviors before using dating apps, we worry that the use of these image and appearance-focused services could exacerbate those behaviors,” Tran said.

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