Recovery or harm? The role of Instagram in eating disorders

Journal title SALUTE E SOCIETÀ
Author/s Alessia Bertolazzi, Giovanna Fanci, Maria Letizia Zanier
Publishing Year 2020 Issue 2020/2
Language English Pages 14 P. 90-103 File size 171 KB
DOI 10.3280/SES2020-002007
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This article aims at analysing the role of Instagram in the treatment of eating disorders. Theobjective is to investigate how people with anorexia nervosa use Instagram. The hypothesisto be verified is whether the use of this social media by those who are trying to cure eatingdisorders may pose risks to the healing process. Therefore, a simultaneous, multi-methodstudy was performed. The core component of the research was the content analysis of a sampleof posts (images and captions) selected by Instagram, while the supplementary componentwas a focus group with people suffering from eating disorders, treated by a specialized Italiancentre. The study highlighted the prevalence of potentially risky contents. Images and textsseem to reveal an inclination to the spectacularisation of the disease itself, offering contentsmainly referable to risk-taking behaviours such as the obsessive control of food intake, food’sweight or calorie content.

Keywords: Anorexia; Instagram; eating disorders; image; recovery; spectacularization.

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Alessia Bertolazzi, Giovanna Fanci, Maria Letizia Zanier, Recovery or harm? The role of Instagram in eating disorders in "SALUTE E SOCIETÀ" 2/2020, pp 90-103, DOI: 10.3280/SES2020-002007