Body-editing apps on TikTok ‘trigger eating disorders’

Body-editing apps on TikTok ‘trigger eating disorders’
Source: BBC
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: Body-editing apps advertised on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok are “triggering” young people with eating disorders, campaigners fear.

Adverts show how the apps can be used to alter body parts, including adding muscles and making waists slimmer.

Eating disorder charities have said the social media should consider the impact on vulnerable people.

The platforms said the apps did not break their guidelines for advertising, but TikTok added it does reviews its policies.

TikTok, which is extremely popular to the young generation, said it is “continually looking to enhance” its framework to “support a body-positive environment”.

The social media platform banned adverts for weight loss supplements and fasting apps last year.

Eating disorder campaigner Hope Virgo said social media companies need to be held to account and “stop this unhealthy and unhelpful messaging.”

“Over the last year, we have seen a huge increase in the number of people with eating disorders, and while eating disorders aren’t necessarily caused by bad body image, we know there are some intrinsic links.”

She said that the fact that TikTok and Instagram are currently advertising body-editing apps will fuel this epidemic of eating disorders further.

Seed, an eating disorder charity, said it has seen a 68% rise in teenagers aged between 10 and 19 and children seeking support since the pandemic.

Danae Mercer is a health journalist with a history of disordered eating and she regularly posts about body positivity on TikTok and Instagram, filming “behind the curtain” videos of how bodies are edited.

She said: “I know from my own experience, these apps can be triggering.”

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