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Post Now, Eat Later: Social Policy for Eating Disorders

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Alyssa English

Additional Presenters:
Aspen Marshall (
Eating disorders are increasingly prevalent among adolescents. Adolescence is a time of relatively rapid physical, mental, and emotional change, and is a prominent time to develop a mental health disorder. Nearly all diagnoses of eating disorders occur between the ages of 12 and 25 (Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, 2022). Disordered eating brings harmful side effects and may result in death. Among mental health disorders, death from eating disorders is second only to opioid overdose (ANAD, 2022). The growth of technology has increased use of electronic devices and social media platforms, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media has increased awareness of eating disorders, however the lack of regulation of social media permits the promotion of eating disorders. There is an association between screen time and social media use and eating disorders in adolescents (Wilksch et al., 2020). Parents spend less time with their children during adolescence resulting in a potential lack of awareness of their social media use and disordered eating behaviors (Marceau et al., 2014). Due to limited understanding of eating disorders, treatments that are available are not entirely effective (McAleavey, 2008). Thus, it is important to prevent the onset of eating disorders and intervene early. Most treatments for eating disorders do not focus on prevention, rather they attempt to reduce symptoms of eating disorders in general. This paper will synthesize the literature on eating disorders and propose a prevention and intervention program implemented through the education system, including parent education and public service announcements. Instituting mental health wellness checks for adolescents in schools is a proactive approach to prevent eating disorders before they become entrenched. Prevention and intervention may reduce the incidence and severity of eating disorders.
University / Institution: Utah Tech University
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION D (3:30-5:00PM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Danelle Larsen-Rife
Location: Sill Center Conference Room (3:30pm)