Men and women on dating apps are more likely to engage in weight control behaviors that eating disorders researchers have deemed unhealthy.
People who use dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, Bumble and Happn were significantly more likely to use anabolic steroids according to the results of a new study published in the Journal of Eating Disorders. Anabolic steroid use was one of several behaviors used to improve physical appearance that were deemed “unhealthy” by the researchers.
The “unhealthy weight control behaviors” also included fasting, dieting, vomiting and the use of muscle-building dietary supplements, diet pills and laxatives. However, dating app users were more likely to use anabolic steroids that engage in any other appearance-motivated behavior when compared to a control group.
More than one-third of men on dating apps are using anabolic steroids.
The study was conducted by researchers affiliated with Harvard University. The researchers recruited a total of 1,726 individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 years old. The 17 percent of dating app users were compared to the 83 percent of people who never used dating apps.
The study participants completed a questionnaire which asked how often they tried to improve their physical appearance through the use of various “weight control behaviors”. The dating app users were significantly more likely to admit vomiting, fasting, laxatives, diet pills, muscle building supplements and anabolic steroids. This was true in both men and women.
Men on dating apps were 16.2 times more likely to use anabolic steroids than men who did not use dating apps. This amounted to 36.4% of all male users of dating apps compared to 3.8 percent of the control group.
Women on dating apps were a whopping 30 times more likely to use steroids than women who stayed away from dating apps. This amounted to 15.8 percent of female users of dating apps compared to 1.4 percent of the control group.
Of course, it should not be too surprising that apps that involve strangers judging people based on physical appearance would result in greater pressure for users to improve their physical appearance – and consequently engage in behaviors that will help them achieve that goal.
Blanchard, S. (May 31, 2019). People using Tinder and other dating apps are ‘more likely to develop eating disorders, take laxatives or use steroids’ to get bodies like ‘unrealistic’ celebrities. Retrieved from dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7090209/People-using-Tinder-dating-apps-likely-use-steroids.html