How Does Social Media Affect Eating Disorders?

How Does Social Media Affect Eating Disorders?

  • The Fee Is Free Unless You Win®.
  • America's Largest Injury Law Firm™
  • Protecting Families Since 1988
  • 20 Billion+ Won
  • 1,000+ Lawyers Nationwide

Free Case Evaluation

Tell us about your situation so we can get started fighting for you. We tailor each case to meet our clients' needs.
Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. ©2024 Morgan and Morgan, P.A. All rights reserved.
Our results speak for themselves

The attorneys featured above are licensed in Florida. For a full list of attorneys in your state please visit our attorney page.

How Does Social Media Affect Eating Disorders?

Social media enhances the lives of users that benefit from real-time interactions with friends and family members on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Professionals build strong networks on sites like LinkedIn. Sharing photographs on Snapchat and Instagram allows relatives to follow the development of a newborn, as well as give close friends an inside look into someone’s vacation of a lifetime. For all the good that social media gives us, there is a dark side that can severely damage a user’s mental and emotional state.

Illegal activities on social media networks include stalking, defamation, and acquiring information that later is used to commit a crime. One of the most common types of harassment conducted online concerns mocking someone who deals with a bodyweight problem. This begs the question, how does social media affect eating disorders? According to several surveys completed by researchers, the answer is social media typically has a highly negative impact on eating disorders.

At the beginning of the social media craze in 2004, the results of several research studies confirmed the close relationship between social media and eating disorders. In 2011, a University of Haifa study of 248 adolescent women discovered that the “more time adolescent girls spend in front of Facebook, the more their chances of developing a negative body image and various eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, and exaggerated dieting.” A 2007 study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) included more than 1,700 participants between 19 and 32 years old. The results of the study stated a “strong and consistent association between social media use and eating concerns.”

At the heart of many social media and eating disorder cases is a legal principle called defamation of character. If you suffer from an eating disorder and you believe another party has defamed you on social media because of the eating disorder, you might have a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. At Morgan and Morgan, our team of Internet attorneys can help you determine whether you have a strong enough case to move forward with legal action.

Schedule a free case evaluation to share the evidence you have gathered with one of the experienced litigators at Morgan and Morgan.

Scroll down for more

How it works

It's easy to get started.
The Fee Is Free™. Only pay if we win.

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

  • Step 1

    your claim

    With a free case evaluation, submitting your case is easy with Morgan & Morgan.

  • Step 2

    We take

    Our dedicated team gets to work investigating your claim.

  • Step 3

    We fight
    for you

    If we take on the case, our team fights to get you the results you deserve.

Client success
stories that inspire and drive change

Explore over 55,000 5-star reviews and 800 client testimonials to discover why people trust Morgan & Morgan.

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. Based on Select nationwide reviews

  • Video thumbnail for 5l3q2e67j8
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for yfe952tcop
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for z1bqwg9hkl
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for s5nb3hnvkv
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for t4elibxene
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for 5nr9efxqj3
    Wistia video play button
  • Video thumbnail for e8s1x6u5jp
    Wistia video play button


Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What Are the Most Common Types of Eating Disorders?

    The three most common eating disorders negatively influence the lives of more than 30 million Americans. Eating disorders do not discriminate based on age, race, national origin, and religious beliefs. The part mental and part physical harmful health condition can adversely impact just about anyone.

    Anorexia Nervosa

    Anorexia nervosa includes habits such as fasting, dieting, over-exercising, and taking diet pills to compensate for what is self-perceived to be a weight control problem. Individuals that struggle with anorexia nervosa have an unadulterated disdain for their bodies, even if they maintain a relatively fit and finely-toned body shape. The average body weight for an anorexia nervosa patient sits around 15 percent lower than the national average for both age and height.

    Intense fear of gaining weight triggers an inordinate amount of stress, which translates into unhealthy symptoms such as high blood pressure.

    Bulimia Nervosa

    Bulimia disorder represents the two extremes of an eating disorder. Patients that suffer from bulimia nervosa experience frequent incidents when they consume large amounts of food, only to purge the food from their systems immediately after eating a super-large meal. Purging involves throwing up and/or following a strict fasting regimen. As opposed to anorexia bulimia, which produces weight loss, someone suffering from bulimia nervosa can be underweight, overweight, or not experience a weight change at all.

    The incidents of uncontrolled eating can last between two weeks and three months. Longer bouts with bulimia nervosa often generate severe health consequences.

    Binge Eating

    Binger eaters eat large quantities of food during a short period. The harmful behavior can occur two times a week and last for as long as six consecutive months. People that struggle with a binge eating disorder do not take measures to lose the weight that increases during each session. After completing a binge eating session, an individual feels a wide range of negative emotions like guilt, shame, and distress.

    The constant gaining of weight places a tremendous amount of stress on the heart, as well as dramatically decreases someone’s self-esteem. Binger eaters usually eat in secret, as well as experience wild, sudden mood swings.

  • What Are the Effects of Social Media on Mental Health?

    Social media has transformed from a platform that people used in their spare time to an indispensable digital tool that fosters both personal and professional relationships. The increase in popularity of social media has corresponded to a rise in serious mental health conditions caused by overexposure to any of the most accessed sites.

    People that suffer from an eating disorder can develop negative mental and emotional health symptoms simply by looking at photographs of individuals that flaunt their physiques. Negative mental and emotional symptoms can include envy, embarrassment, and even depression. The feeling of depression can develop into thinking suicidal thoughts because of a significant feeling of inadequacy. The constant bombardment of advertisements featuring ideal body types can lead to much lower self-esteem.

    Defamation of character can elicit a much stronger negative mental and emotional response to an eating disorder. The legal principle has become a serious issue on social media sites where many users like or mock other users because of a substantial character flaw or flaws. People living with an eating disorder represent a prime target for written abuse in the form of insults and highlighting someone’s eating disorder to other users of a social media platform. Defamation of character can permanently damage the reputation of an individual who suffers from an eating disorder.

    By working with one of the highly-rated defamation of character attorneys at Morgan and Morgan, you can stop online harassment and possibly receive compensation for the mental and emotional distress triggered by someone who defamed you because of an eating disorder.

  • How Should I Handle Defamation of Character on a Social Media Platform?

    Addressing the mental health issues that arise because another party defamed your character on a social media site can be overwhelming. You might experience a sinking feeling of helplessness, which prompts you to do nothing to fight back against slander in digital form. Giving up is not the way to deal with defamation of character on a social media site. However, you should not get embroiled in a war of words on a platform such as Twitter.

    Instead, follow a few steps to take action against someone mocking you because of an eating disorder.

    Gather and Organize Evidence

    Because everyone leaves a digital footprint, you should download and save every defaming statement made by another party on a social media site concerning your eating disorder. For example, you download every tweet sent by someone who defamed your character. Facebook posts offer another resource for collecting and organizing the evidence you need to build a persuasive case for defamation of character.

    Saving and downloading mocking images also provides your lawyer with sufficient evidence to build a strong case for filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.

    Present Your Side

    Although you do not want to get in a war of words with another party, you should promote your side of the story by presenting positive information regarding your eating disorder. Education can be the key that unlocks compassion and understanding, instead of negative behaviors such as making derisive comments. You can upload images of your progress from battling an eating disorder, as well as help others struggling with an eating disorder implement strategies to return to a more standard diet.

    Hire an Attorney

    Hiring an attorney can make defamation of character for an eating disorder quickly stop. The threat of taking legal action often is a strong enough deterrent to make another party stop defaming you on a social media platform.

    When you meet with one of the highly-rated defamation attorneys at Morgan and Morgan, you can expect the lawyer sitting across from you to conduct an exhaustive review of the evidence you have collected. Your legal counsel reads the statements issued by other online users of the same platform who read the defaming comments left by another party. Your attorney walks you through the litigation process, which includes trying to negotiate a financial settlement with the other party’s lawyer.

    Mail a Cease and Desist Letter

    The first step for ending defamation of character involves sending the other party a certified cease and desist letter. Mailing a certified letter ensures the other party receives the correspondence through the United States Postal System (USPS). Your cease and desist letter should include details concerning the online harassment you have faced because of an eating disorder. Attaching a few images of the messages left online by the defendant should convince the other party’s lawyer that you have built a persuasive case.

    The other party can ignore the cease and desist letter or respond with a proposal to negotiate a settlement. Negotiating a settlement is a much more favorable legal outcome because you avoid a costly and time-consuming trial.

    File a Defamation of Character Lawsuit

    The attorney that you hire from Morgan and Morgan tries to negotiate a settlement. If the other party submits an unreasonable value for compensation, your attorney will not hesitate to take the other party to court by suing for defamation of character. You must file a civil lawsuit by the deadline established in the state where you live. The Morgan and Morgan attorney that you hire for legal support ensures you file a civil lawsuit for defamation of character long before the expiration of the statute of limitations.

  • End the Harassment You Endure Because of an Eating Disorder

    Your commitment should be to take steps to end eating disorder defamation committed on a social media platform. One of the steps involves hiring an experienced defamation lawyer who specializes in cases that involve harassment on social media platforms. You should never have to deal with intense negative emotions that develop because of an eating disorder.

    Schedule a free case evaluation today with a Morgan and Morgan attorney who can end defamation of your character, as well fight for just compensation. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay any upfront legal fees to receive the best legal support.

  • Scroll down for more Load More