Is social media making you eating disordered? Read this to find out

Is your preoccupation with looking like one of them social media influencers getting out of hand? If you said yes, you might be eating disordered.

eating order
You must not devalue food on yur plate to feel more worthy,ladies. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Vinod Kumar Published on: 16 March 2020, 13:05 pm IST
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The recent upsurge in eating, dieting, and food-related posts on various social media handles continues to feed our ever-growing obsession and preoccupation with looks, appearance, and weight.

In clinical terms, when one is preoccupied with weight, appearance, dieting and so on-it is collectively referred to as being “eating disordered.”

What does being eating disordered really mean?
Weight is supposed to be a spectrum rather than an idealized state as portrayed in the media and emulated on social media. In an attempt to be a shape and size we are not genetically designed to be, we can fall into the trap of being eating disordered.

Being eating disordered also falls on a spectrum ranging from the very common preoccupation with weight, appearance, and dieting to developing a full-blown clinical syndrome of bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.

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The amount of time, resources, and energy that is spent trying to look like the idealized celebrity is unbelievable. You just have to look around any town or city in India to realise just how fast gyms and weight loss centres are mushrooming. Obviously social media reflects the same preoccupations.

Every other day there is a claim of miraculous diet products and plans. No diet plan or dietary supplement has withstood the rigors of scientific and rational scrutiny, particularly when long term health and well-being is considered. 

There is no substitute for lifelong adaptation of dietary and lifestyle choices that are healthy. That means including eating three square meals and two planned snacks a day, so there has to be a balance of all major nutrients which are locally sourced and freshly cooked. 

If eat, eat, and repeat is becoming your mantra – then it’s time for a binge eating alert! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In terms of activity you have to simply become more self-reliant in doing all the chores of daily life and incorporate 30 minutes of natural activity like walking or yoga. Excessive unnatural activity which is not sustainable for a long time can cause an imbalance in the mechanism in our body of appetite regulation and metabolism.

We tend to fall prey to the forces of thinness drive and succumb to social media and other digital pressures. But the thing to remember is that there are other important facets of life that perhaps need more attention. 

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About the Author
Dr Vinod Kumar Dr Vinod Kumar

Dr Vinod Kumar is the head of MPower-The Centre in Bengaluru.

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