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The connection between dating apps and eating disorders is real

The connection between dating apps and eating disorders is real

According to research published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, it is possible to link the use of applications From dating with the development of eating disorders. The reason for creating the study was the interest in self-image disorders and how they can affect the diet and psychological state of users of these social networks. Learn more about the research and its results.

Dating apps and eating disorders

The study, proposed by author Jade Portingale, was created to investigate the causes of the development or exacerbation of eating disorders and their relationship to the use of flirting apps. Among the main reasons, we see the need to understand the problems involved in frequent use of a social network dominated by appearance, information overload, and constant comparison and competition among users.

For this reason, although the goal is noble – to find great love or create new connections – there are also problems that can lead to problems with self-esteem and the emergence of a destructive relationship with food, especially in people who do not get along with it. to the media standard.

As a result, the study reached the following conclusions:

The purpose of the study

Portingale, who is a member of the University of Melbourne’s Eating Disorders Laboratory, reports that if common psychological traits can be demonstrated to exacerbate disorder risk more frequently in frequent users of dating apps and/or if the use motives are associated with increased risk of eating disorders, then It will be possible to open new avenues of intervention and prevention programmes.

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How was the research conducted?

For the study, 690 young adults willing to engage in a cross-sectional study were selected, with an average age of 20 years. They answered questionnaires about their use of dating apps and symptoms of eating disorders. Then, they completed ratings and scales for traits often related to an eating disorder, such as sensitivity and fear of rejection due to physical appearance, marital status, and emotional dysfunction.

What are the results of the study?

40% of the volunteers reported that they are Tinder users.

It was noted, based on an analysis of the results, that participants who reported using dating apps reported more eating disorder symptoms when compared to non-users.

And among app users, what are the results?

When comparing app users, questions were asked about motives for using the dating network. From here, two groups were identified: those who used it for fun and those who used it to facilitate communication and check self-esteem. The second group identified more with symptoms of eating disorders.


The research came to the conclusion that prolonged use of dating apps and flirting can exert sociocultural pressure based on physical appearance, and thus such disorders can be induced.