April 16, 2014 - It used to be magazines and TV that made some women feel badly about their bodies, but now Facebook may be doing the same thing, according to researchers.
A new study of college women in the United States shows that the more time a woman spends on Facebook, the more likely she is to dislike her appearance.
"We focused on women, and particularly college women, because they are under increased pressure to look a certain way, and for their bodies to have a certain shape. This pressure comes from both media images and interactions with peers," said study author Petya Eckler, a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom.
The researchers wanted to know whether Facebook adds to the pressure women feel to look good, Eckler told Live Science. "It turns out that it does," she said.
In the study, the researchers surveyed 881 college women, with an average age of roughly 24, about their Facebook use, body image, and exercise and eating habits. About 86 percent of the women in the study wanted to lose weight, which was a higher number than the 61 percent of American women who wanted to lose weight in a national survey quoted in the study, the researchers noted.