The Concern with Eating Disorders after the Pandemic
A recent study by ARH scholar, Dr Laura Hart, found a correlation between people at risk of developing an eating disorder (ED) and our increased use of video conferencing software.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about many changes in everyday living, one including the increased use of videoconferencing software like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. With working or studying remotely more common now than it was a few years ago, more of us to be exposed for prolonged periods of time with our self-image.
This study examined whether ED risk was associated with videoconferencing performance for work or study and to explore whether the use of safety behaviours and self-focused attention could potentially mediate the relationships between ED risk and performance impairment.
From an online survey of 245 over 18-year-old Australians, 38.7% were considered at risk of having an ED. The considerably high percentage can be explained by further conclusions about the associated performance anxiety, impaired engagement and avoidance with work or study videoconferencing. These results show that people are more likely to feel nervous and self-conscious while on a video call, and that there is and increased likelihood of ED development with at-risk individuals.
Safety behaviours and self-focused attention mediation models were used to combat the negative associations with video calls, however, illustrating little benefits in reducing the effects of ED risk. See the full study here.
Dr Laura Hart was also involved in a program called ‘Confident Body, Confident Child’, a world-first program designed for parents of 2-6 year old children to prevent body dissatisfaction, eating and weight disorders. The program is available in Australia and internationally.
Media contact: email@example.com First published 22nd March 2023