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Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2016 Jan;24(1):3-8. doi: 10.1002/erv.2390. Epub 2015 Jul 31.

A Meta-Analysis Examining the Influence of Pro-Eating Disorder Websites on Body Image and Eating Pathology.

Author information

1
Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.
2
Laboratoire de Stress Traumatique, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.

Abstract

Previous research has indicated that exposure to pro-eating disorder websites might increase eating pathology; however, the magnitude of this effect is unknown. This study aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the effect of exposure to pro-eating disorder websites on body image and eating pathology. Studies examining the relationship between exposure to pro-eating disorder websites and eating pathology-related outcomes were included. The systematic review identified nine studies. Findings revealed significant effect sizes of exposure to pro-eating disorder websites on body image dissatisfaction (five studies), d = .41, p = .003; dieting (six studies), d = .68, p < .001, and negative affect (three studies), d = 1.00, p < .001. No effect emerged for bulimic symptoms (four studies), d = .22, p = .73. Findings confirmed the effect of pro-eating disorder websites on body image and eating pathology, highlighting the need for enforceable regulation of these websites.

KEYWORDS:

Internet; meta-analysis; pro-ana; pro-eating disorders; systematic review

PMID:
26230192
DOI:
10.1002/erv.2390
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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