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The effects of fitspiration images on body attributes, mood and eating behaviors: An experimental Ecological Momentary Assessment study in females

Krug, Isabel; Selvaraja, Poorna; Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Matthew; Hughes, Elizabeth K.; Slater, Amy; Griffiths, Scott; Yee, Zhi Wei; Richardson, Ben; Blake, Khandis

Authors

Isabel Krug

Poorna Selvaraja

Matthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz

Elizabeth K. Hughes

Amy Slater Amy.Slater@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Centre for Appearance Research

Scott Griffiths

Zhi Wei Yee

Ben Richardson

Khandis Blake



Abstract

Through an experimental Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) design, we assessed the effects of fitspiration images (relative to neutral) on body image, mood and disordered eating and whether trait body dissatisfaction, thin-ideal internalization and pressures from the media, family and peers moderated these effects. After completing trait-based measures, 85 women were prompted via a mobile application 6 times daily for 7 days to view an image (fitspiration or neutral) and report on state levels of perceived pressures to attain an idealized physique, satisfaction with various body attributes, mood and eating behavior. When participants were exposed to fitspiration images, their perceived pressure to attain an idealized physique was significantly higher than after exposure to the control images. This effect was most pronounced for women experiencing pressure from the media. Furthermore, fitspiration images lowered the extent to which women felt that idealized physiques were attainable, and decreased satisfaction with current fitness. There were no significant effects on mood and disordered eating. Exposure to fitspiration content predicted only a few adverse outcomes in terms of negative body attributes and perceived pressures to attain a similar physique, suggesting that its content is not as detrimental as initially believed, but further research is needed.

Citation

Krug, I., Selvaraja, P., Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, M., Hughes, E. K., Slater, A., Griffiths, S., …Blake, K. (2020). The effects of fitspiration images on body attributes, mood and eating behaviors: An experimental Ecological Momentary Assessment study in females. Body Image, 35, 279-287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.09.011

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 1, 2020
Online Publication Date Nov 6, 2020
Publication Date Dec 1, 2020
Deposit Date Oct 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date May 7, 2022
Journal Body Image
Print ISSN 1740-1445
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Pages 279-287
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.09.011
Keywords fitspiration; body attributes; disordered eating; mood; pressures to be thin; thin-ideal internalization; ecological momentary assessment
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/6749446