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Can just 20 minutes on Facebook lead to eating disorders?

It you like to spend time on Facebook there's a chance that it could effect the way you see yourself and even what you eat. At least that's what one study conducted by researchers at Florida State University (FSU) says.

Girl on facebook

The study, released Wednesday, looked at 960 college women and found that women who sought more 'likes,' untagged themselves from photos and compared themselves to friends’ pictures had higher chances of developing eating disorders.

Study lead researcher and FSU's psychology professor, Pamela K Keel, said in a press release, "Facebook provides a fun way to stay connected with friends, but it also presents women with a new medium through which they are confronted by a thin ideal that impacts their risk for eating disorders."

Researchers say spending just 20 minutes on Facebook puts pressure on women to maintain their weight, get into shape, which in turn increases their anxiety. Over 95 percent of the participating women used Facebook and said that they visited their account several times a day and spent at least 20 minutes each time.

The researchers said that the findings were important as it may lead to intervention to reduce risk factors for eating disorders.

Past studies have shown that frequent usage of social media leads to eating disorders, yet this is the first research that shows even 20 minutes on Facebook might increase the chances of the condition.

The findings were published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

What do you think? Do you feel pressure to get thin, stay thin or eat less, after you spend time on Facebook?

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