A new study by researchers from ColumbiaUniversity reveals that Facebook could lead to obesity, mainly because of negative eating habits that result from frequent use of social networks.
Frequent FB Users are the Heaviest
The study, which was led by Dr. Keith Wilcox, interviewed almost 500 respondents regarding their Internet habit, particularly when it comes to using Facebook. Among the 470 respondents who participated, it was found that those who logged into Facebook the most had greater body mass indexes than those who did not use the social network frequently. In addition, it was discovered that binge eating was also connected to recurrent use of Facebook.
Facebook can lead users to obesity because using it leads to poor eating habits, a study finds. (Image: via topnews.ae)
Findings on Self-Esteem and Snacking
Meanwhile, in a related experiment, the researchers learned that going on Facebook tends to increase the self-esteem of a user. For this part of the study, 84 respondents were selected randomly and given the choice of either visiting the CNN website or Facebook. Afterwards, they were presented with two snack options: a healthy and an unhealthy one.
Among those who visited Facebook, it was found that 80% preferred the unhealthy snack option. Among those who visited CNN, on the other hand, 70% preferred the healthy snack. Dr. Wilcox attributed the finding to the increase in self-esteem that using Facebook triggers. According to him, when a person’s self-esteem is raised, he or she perceives that as “a license to indulge.”
Notably, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta shares that about 35% of all American adults have a problem with obesity, and that this figure is increasing each year.