Data Shows Rise In Eating Disorder Hospitalisations Following Rise Of TikTok

There has been a substantial increase in the number of eating disorder hospitalisations in Queensland following the introduction of social media according to new health data. 

The data shows that around the year 2,000 only 361 teens and 977 people over the age of 20 were hospitalised for treatment of an eating disorder. 

These numbers have been compared to data from 2021 which shows that 8,468 people have been admitted to hospital with a suspected eating disorder. 

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According to the data which obtained by the Courier Mail, the largest spike in admissions came after the introduction of TikTok in 2016. 

Within that time, the number of admissions increased from 3,000 to 5,000 over a two-year period. 

It was also noted that smaller spikes in admission occurred following the introduction of Facebook in 2004, Instagram in 2010 and Snapchat in 2011. 

As TikTok has become increasingly popular, child eating disorders admissions have seen a concerning rise of 92 percent while adult admissions have increased to 52 percent. 

Hospital admissions became most prominent during the Covid pandemic increasing from 6,600 in 2020 to 8,400 in 2021. 

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Experts believe this is due to the large amount of content pertaining to weight loss, exercise and diet while media consumption was at an all-time high. 

Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said that social media providers should be working harder to prevent young people from being exposed to influential material. 

“We have to be working with social media giants to make sure that there are healthy messages about body image,” she said. 

“I know that the federal government is working with these providers and I’m prepared to do anything we can here in Queensland to combat those changes.”

Hospital admissions for eating disorders have continued to steadily climb over the past five years. 

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, or contact Headspace on 1800 650 890. 

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