Eating Disorders and Social Media: What You Need to Know

As a Memphis lawyer for social media and eating disorders, I am currently accepting cases related to children and eating disorders brought on by social media.

We intend to hold Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook responsible for what they’ve done to encourage eating disorders in our kids.

How Social Media Leads to Eating Disorders

In recent years, lawmakers and tech studies have found a direct link between social media and eating disorders in children. (We’ve seen the same thing in our lawsuit on social media and suicide.)

The major social media companies, and especially Instagram and Snapchat, do the following:

  • Promote a narrow and unrealistic standard of beauty
  • Provide a platform for pro-eating disorder communities to form
  • Allow and even promotes accounts that promote restrictive eating or excessive exercise
  • Promote videos that help kids develop secretive and isolating behaviors and even block their parents
  • Allow hashtags that help kids find content glorifying things like anorexia, bulimia, and extreme weight loss
  • Refuse to take down or block eating-disorder content

And on top of all the content about weight loss thrown at them constantly, kids and teens also face bullying about their bodies through abusive comments and private messages on the same platforms.

As a result, many young people on these platforms find content that encourages them toward eating disorders and threatens to ruin their lives.

The Consequences of Social Media’s Eating Disorder Content

Eating disorders are the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents. They cross all class and racial boundaries and impact every part of a child’s health.

In short, these illnesses are a huge threat to our kids.

The most common examples include:

  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Pica (eating things that aren’t food), and
  • Rumination disorder

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. And it’s even worse for kids. In fact, for females 15–24 years old, the anorexia mortality rate is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL OTHER causes of death.

Food and nutrients are so critical to the human body that it’s hard to overstate the risks. Eating disorders impact every organ in the body and can lead to heart failure, increased infections, brain disorders, reproductive harm, and more. And eating disorders are also connected to a higher risk of suicide.

With all of that data in mind, it’s totally unacceptable—truly horrific—that the social media companies have allowed so many children to fall prey to eating disorder content.

The Companies Knew and Did Nothing

Facebook and Instagram’s own internal research shows they knew kids were accessing dangerous eating disorder content on their sites. They’ve testified about it in front of Congress, promised to do better, and yet haven’t seemed to make any significant changes.

As just one example, Instagram pretends the platform is for users 13 and older. Executives know young children use their platform, but they haven’t done anything serious to stop it. Dancer Jojo Siwa once said publicly she’d been on Instagram since she was 8. The CEO of Instagram only replied he “didn’t want to know that.”

Even after all their internal research showed the harm their platforms have caused for teens and young girls, Instagram doubled down. They actually began plans for children’s version to encourage even younger users to join.

This content is extremely addictive for children and teens. The companies designed it that way on purpose. After their failure to protect teens and children from eating disorder content, it’s unconscionable that they’d want even younger kids to have access.

A Memphis Lawyer for Social Media and Eating Disorders

Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat deserve to be held accountable for encouraging anorexia and bulimia in teens and young girls.

And if you or your children have experienced childhood eating disorders because of social media, you deserve to be made whole.

Our firm is working with kids 23 and younger who’ve been treated for eating disorders related to their time on social media. If that’s you or your child, you have a right to justice and compensation.

For decades, our Memphis legal team has built a reputation taking on some of the most powerful companies in the world. As we’ve shown in those cases, we’ll fight for you with everything we have, and we’ll treat you and your precious family like our own.

Unlike social media companies, we’re transparent with our process and actually fight for your best interest. We’ll talk with you through everything and answer any questions you might have. What’s more, we won’t win anything unless you do.

To get started, just call us today at 901-327-2100 or fill out the form below. We look forward to talking with you.

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