Parents Sue Instagram For Daughter’s ED

Social Media and Eating Disorders

Two sets of parents in the US have issued lawsuits against Instagram’s parent company Meta, stating they believe the social media site contributed to their daughters’ eating disorders. 

Jennifer and Benjamin Martin from Kentucky are suing Meta for “causing and contributing to burgeoning mental health crisis perpetrated upon the children and teenagers of the United States”, ABC News revealed.

Their daughter Alexandra, 19, starting using Instagram when she was 12, when she began to see eating disorder-related content on the social networking site. 

Speaking with ABC News, Mr Martin stated: “Around 2016, we noticed some extreme weight loss in her and then put the puzzle pieces together that it was a direct correlation to social media.”

Alexandra was hospitalised for anorexia and attempted suicide twice in 2019. 

The lawsuit against Meta claims the teenager was exposed to content tailored to her, showing underweight models, unhealthy eating, and eating disorder content. 

Candace West has also filed a lawsuit against Meta, after her daughter, identified as CN, became addicted to Instagram, leading to a “steady, but severe, decline in her mental health”. 

She was targeted by recipes with a negative calorie intake and was led down a “dangerous rabbit hole” before eventually attempting suicide. 

Images teens and young women are bombarded with could have a big impact on their self-esteem, relationship with food, and body image. As well as social media sites, the fashion industry and media could have a dangerous influence on girls.

Indeed, top supermodels from the 1990s are still publicising their unhealthy eating habits to stay waiflike, including 52-year-old Naomi Campbell who claims to only eat one meal and 54-year-old Carla Bruni who exercises for two hours every day. 

If you are worried about your daughter’s exposure to social media or images in the press are leading to unhealthy food habits, call our eating disorder treatment clinic in Manchester today.

Published: 15 July 2022