Is there a link between social media apps and eating disorders in teens? staff KABC logo
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Link between social media, eating disorders detailed by USC expert
A USC expert in digital social media explains how enhanced images on social media can affect teens with eating disorders and body-image issues.USC professor Karen North, an expert in digital social media, explains how online images can impact eating disorders and body-image issues in kids.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- New research is exploring the link between children with eating disorders or body-image issues and the apps they use online.

Research suggests images seen on social media - particularly those that use beauty filters to make people appear more attractive online than in real life - can lower self-esteem and contribute to unhealthy eating habits.

University of Southern California professor Karen North, an expert in digital social media, spoke to Eyewitness News on this topic.

"As humans we're social animals and we're always looking for comparisons. It's called social comparison theory," North said.

"In our life, it's always been you compare yourself to other people you bump into. But now with social media you can be fed not only beautiful people, but manufactured, falsely extra-beautiful people and it can come as an onslaught."

For more on her analysis of this issue, please watch the video above.