The Courier-Mail

Fitspo pages inspire risk


TEENAGE girls who follow “fitspirati­on” pages on social media are more likely to have eating disorders, be bullied and use dangerous diet tricks.

The Burnet Institute’s annual Sex, Drug and Rock ’n’ Roll Study found that, of the 1001 young Australian­s aged 15-29 years surveyed, more than a third followed health and fitness social media pages.

The pages were most popular among teenage girls, particular­ly those aged 15-17 years, with 57 per cent of young women liking or following at least one “fitspo” page.

But Dr Megan Lim, Burnet head of sexual health and young people research, said the study found among these fans, 70 per cent reported misusing detoxes, laxatives or diet pills, but were less likely to have engaged in binge drinking. Young people who had self-reported eating disorders were two to three times more likely to like these pages.

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