TikTok is ‘like a trap,’ health experts say as eating disorders among teens rise

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“If you’re inundated with videos about dieting and exercise, it’s naturally going to distort your brain on what the average person looks like,” she said. Photo: Pexels


(Bethany Ao/ The Detroit News) — While scrolling through TikTok during the early months of the pandemic, Haley Collins often encountered videos showing people’s exercise routines or the foods they ate throughout the day. Collins, a 19-year-old sophomore at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., has struggled with body image issues and anxiety, both of which were worsened by COVID-19 restrictions.

“(TikTok) was super triggering for me,” she said. “I would see that and be like, ‘Oh, I guess I should do something like that.’”

One of the effects of the pandemic is that adolescents and young people are spending much of their free time on social media to stay connected with their friends. A survey of 2,000 parents conducted by researchers at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago last September found that 63% of respondents believed their teens were spending more time on social media during quarantine. (…)

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