Are Facebook users living too large?
Well, social media usage could expand your self esteem and your waistline at least according to a new study.
Researchers from Columbia University found that of about 500 Facebook users, those that were frequent users "with strong friend ties" had a higher body mass index than those who were only on Facebook occasionally. Men's Health added that "high use [of Facebook] was also linked to an increase in binge eating." Facebook activity was also found to increase the self-esteem of users, however, when they interacted with close friends.
The BMI for active Facebook users was about 26 as opposed to 24 for the other group; 24 is at the high end of the normal range.
CBS News reports that the study also found that when 84 randomly selected subjects were given the option to browse CNN's webpage or Facebook, 80 percent of the Facebook users noshed on an unhealthy snack (a cookie) after logging on while 70 percent of the CNN browsers chose a healthy snack (a granola bar),
The London Telegraph summarizes the findings of this study:
"Interacting with friends online could raise people's confidence, which in turn reduces their powers of self control and makes them more likely to snack on unhealthy food immediately afterwards, researchers suggested."Study author Kevin Wilcox PhD told Men's Health that "people use momentary increases in self-esteem as a license to indulge. The key here is that [the study participant] did not actually do anything to merit a treat."
The researchers also found that frequent Facebook users were on the hook for about $1,000 more in credit debt than their less-active Facebook counterparts.
The full study is scheduled for publication in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.
Does spending time on Facebook undermine your self control especially when it comes to healthy eating?