A worrying new hashtag that is sweeping social media.
Research by the University of Exeter, published the info in the Journal of Eating Disorders, after finding that hundreds of young women are using Instagram and Twitter to search for anorexic bodies using the hashtag “bonespiration.”
Catherine Talbot, a psychologist at Exeter University Medical School, and her team analysed 734 images that used the hashtag and found that just over a quarter contained protruding hip bones, 2 percent showed protruding ribs, and just over a fifth (22 percent) collarbones, while 6 percent showed the spine.
Back in 2012, social media sites banned the use of certain hashtags, such as “thinspiration” and “thinspo” that could be seen as promoting eating disorders.
The research team revealed they had discovered 140,000 images on Instagram linked to “bonespiration.”
“Anorexia and extreme weight loss is a serious social and medical problem, said Dr Talbot”
“To tackle this social contagion we need to be aware of the social media platforms being used by young people — mainly girls and young women — which is encouraging extreme weight loss. This behavior could seriously damage their psychological and physical health.”
“Teenagers need to be taught about positive body image in schools, and we need to build resilience.”
Dr Michael Carr said on Sunrise today that social media platforms need to take more responsibility and help prevent these harmful trends.
Signs of eating disorder
- Constant or repetitive dieting
- Evidence of binge eating
- Evidence of vomiting or laxative abuse
- Excessive exercise
If you are concerned check your child’s social media pages. Safety trumps privacy if you are worried.
Seek medical advice if you think your child has an eating disorder.
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