We have all seen them, the pictures of impossibly thin looking girls posing in their underwear and posting their selfie onto social media but it seems that this trend may be more than just irritating for those of us out there who don’t want to see these pictures, the selfies could actually be leading to eating disorders.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, a growing number of women are actually using thee diet selfies to document their eating disorder while encouraging others to form bad eating habits.
Dr Alex Yellowlees, medical director and consultant psychiatrist at the Priory hospital group, told the Daily Mail that more and more young women suffering from eating disorders are taking pictures of themselves and sharing them with friends.
This competitive selfie dieting ‘diaries’ trend, he says, is creating damaging psychological pressures that can exacerbate anorexia and other potentially fatal illnesses.
Dr Yellowlees tod the Daily Mail: ‘Some people will take repeated pictures of themselves at various stages of their illness, and send them to others.
‘They want to keep a record of their illness and see for themselves, as it were, the progress they think they are making towards anorexia, but they will also transmit the images to other sufferers on occasions.
‘It’s the younger women doing this. They tend to be in their teens or in their twenties and really into their phones.
‘It’s only become very apparent to me in the last year. Patients have talked to me about it.
‘It’s a reflection of the social media age. Devices make it so easy to do and it is a way of people expressing themselves and their attitude towards the illness. It’s a new and rising trend to me, and it’s certainly happening among increasing numbers of young people.’
Taking pictures to monitor your weight loss can be a great way to give yourself motivation, especially if you look at older photos where you may have been larger to celebrate your weight loss success.
While dieting can lead to weight loss it should be undertaken in a healthy way combining eating better foods with increasing the amount of exercise that you do in a moderate way.
If you notice a friend or family member who appears to becoming overly concerned with posting pictures of themselves looking dangerously thin then try to approach the subject with them or consult the advice of a specialist for help.