Social media is healthy eating's megaphone. According to one study, 50 percent of consumers learn about food through Twitter and Facebook. Another 40 percent say they learn about it via websites, apps or blogs.
Heather Lehman, MS, author of Don't Eat It. DEAL With It! Your Guidebook On How To STOP Eating Your Emotions, did her master's thesis on eating disorders and now runs a corporate wellness company, Overcoming U. She has conducted over 3,000 health coaching sessions where she says, addressing orthorexia is the most common goal. "Orthorexia is interesting because there is a pride in it, whereas anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders have such shame. Pics of food on Pinterest, [Facebook] and Twitter show the world how well you're doing," says Lehman.
Transformational life coach, podcaster, author and blogger, Maddy Moon, is surprisingly very open to the fact that social media can and does contribute to disordered eating in our society. "Anybody can write about anything, and someone who's easily triggered could stumble upon it and continue their disordered relationship with food with this new information and fuel for the fire," says Moon.
A reformed "control seeking maniac" who would bring her food scale to parties and indulge in an Emergen-C packet once every two weeks as her "cheat meal," Moon knows the dangers of taking healthy eating too far. So much so that she has dedicated her life to empowering women to break down their self-defeating patterns and orthorexic tendencies.
"I do think that yes, it's easier for people to continue to cultivate their obsession with healthy eating, dieting, restriction or kitchen perfection because they have access to it 24/7 at the tips of their fingers."