February 1, 2023

A study finds that TikTok can lead to “fat phobia” and more problems

TikTok is one of the most popular platforms in the world right now. It grew up and became very popular in Brazil during the Covid-19 pandemic, where everyone was very isolated.

On the social network, it is possible to post content about practically anything, as long as it conforms to the rules set by the app. It is also possible to find material that leads scientists to the idea that people develop obesity phobias.

Read more: Fix: TikTok’s new trend could create risks for users

Fat phobia is real

Lots of content about feed It is mostly consumed and used by young people, that is, people who are still in training, and who may still have a slightly distorted view of things and especially about themselves.

A study of the network’s nutritional content found that users complimented thinness and weight loss, which ended up promoting a diet culture that, according to the researchers, may contribute to eating disorders and an overly negative body image.

University of Vermont researchers searched for “key content” on topics related to weight, nutrition, and food, and found that the most viewed videos in this category promoted “messages about weight normativity” that “health is only possible at a certain weight; weight is intertwined with disease and carries with it all.” An individual has a personal responsibility to live up to expectations.”

To get to the most popular videos, the researchers used hashtags to select the desired content. Use options like: #bodypositivity; #fat loss; #mealprep; # extra size; #Weight loss; #weightlosscheck; #whatieatinday; #weightlossjourney and #nutrition.

Thus, they were able to analyze that this content on TikTok “includes the glorification of weight loss in various functions, the positioning of food to achieve health and thinness, and the lack of expert voices to provide nutritional information.”

It’s important to remember that in February 2021, TikTok implemented censorship policies for the content covered Eating disordersHowever, the researchers still consider that the app may contain a large amount of content that promotes this diet culture, which can have a negative impact on body image.