Fri. Dec 8th, 2023

The The use of Instagram increases the risk of suffering from Eating Disorders (ED) andamong young women, to such an extent that there may be a relationship between the greater use of the social network in younger girls and the appearance of more serious symptoms of this pathology. This follows from the conclusions of a review of studies carried out by professionals from the Master’s in eHealth at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and Health Sciences from the Hub eHealth without Hoaxes. This work has found Relationships between the use of Instagram and dissatisfaction with one’s own body in young people and adolescents with eating disorders. Thus, they look for publications related to eating disorders with the aim of stay motivated to keep losing weight or tricks to hide it. In addition, girls with an Instagram account exercise more strictly and systematically than those who do not. The analysis carried out warns about cohesive and organized groups promoting the so-called “thin drive” as a lifestyle. Those who defend these ACTs use Instagram for its ability to viralize images and deliberately misspell hashtags that have been banned as #proana #proanorexia, #promia or #probulimia to avoid suspension. “The infinite number of possible combinations when creating hashtags makes it very difficult or even impossible to veto them at the same rate as they are created,” explains Desiré Montes Alamilla, author of this review. “In this way, it is essential to establish measures and tools that fight against movements that advocate extreme thinness and harmful eating behaviors”, adds the researcher. Carlos Bocanegra, a member of the Hub eSalud sin Hoaxes, a multidisciplinary initiative created by #SaludsinBulos based on technology to fight health hoaxes, states that “the use of artificial intelligence algorithms can detect publication patterns on social networks, identifying content that entails some risk for the user and reducing the damage associated with the use of these.

Decalogue to identify reliable information on eating disorders

The users and professionals of the Day Hospital for Eating Disorders of the Sant Joan de Deu Hospital in Barcelona recently a decalogue to identify reliable and secure information about eating disorders in the digital environment, in collaboration with #SaludsinBulos: Check who the author is and check the date of publication. Do not trust flashy headlines. Pay attention to the format and design of the information. Observe the spelling mistakes and the type of language. Investigate the source of the information (accredited professional, serious media, reference entities or official bodies). Remember that when we talk about health, scientific evidence is the proof of the efficacy and safety. Don’t believe everything you see. The photos are usually retouched with filters or Photoshop. See how what you read makes you feel. Fake news can condition your emotions. Be wary of miracle recipes and information that wants to sell you something. Keep in mind that diets and medications are always prescribed by specialized licensed professionals. Make sure that the information has been published in other media, and contrast it with official sources. “One of the objectives of #SaludsinBulos is to make young people aware of reliable sources of health information and for this reason we will organize educational activities in collaboration with institutions linked to education and the protection of children and adolescents”, explains, to conclude, Carlos Mateos, coordinator of #SaludsinBulos.

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