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Do you find yourself up late at night snacking while checking your newsfeed or pinning that new recipe? Personally I know I do! I am an active social media user and I never thought about how weight gain related to this until I started using Pinterest. Pinterest has numerous things that you can pin ranging from wedding gowns to vacation spots to recipes. I find that I spend most of my time pinning pictures of food and this is when I began to think about whether or not social media could have a negative affect on my weight. Research shows that seeing fattening-food pictures triggers appetite and may be contributing to the obesity epidemic. According to a study by Kathleen Page, MD, assistant professor at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, looking at images of high-calorie foods stimulates the brain’s appetite control center and makes subjects more likely to reach for real life versions. I find myself doing most of my pinning before bed when I am at my hungriest and this is when I start to reach for a snack in my kitchen. I don’t even realize what I am doing and then I realize I have eaten a whole bag of pretzels and just repined 50 new recipes for brownies, cookies, and other high calorie meals.

Image courtesy of flickr user mkhmarketing

Currently the obesity epidemic in America is something that affects a lot of people and I think most don’t know how much social media plays into it. It may be a little easier to understand how Pinterest results in weight gain, but I was more shocked with the findings about Facebook and Twitter. A study done by The Daily Mail reveled that in the morning many people are spending time using Facebook and tweeting and put off eating breakfast. It is old news skipping breakfast corresponds to weight gain, but new research says the time that could be spent fueling our body is now spent tweeting and updating our Facebook status. The Daily Mail reports that one in four people log on to Facebook before starting their day. Skipping breakfast means that we have a higher tendency to crave something sugary and fatty throughout the day. We are also spending more and more time on social media networks throughout the day, which is having a negative affect on our weight. A study done by British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology found that the more time you log on Facebook and Twitter, the less time you spend on physical activity.

If there were some way to spread this information about what social media can do to your weight I think people would be able to stop this rapid weight gain. It is the fact that when people are on social media they lose track of time and forget about what other physical activities they could be doing. People today say that Americans are getting more and more obese and I also notice that people are using social media more and more often. I think that this trend needs to be stopped as soon as possible so that the obesity epidemic doesn’t continue.

Featured image courtesy of flickr user TheCulinaryGeek

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