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In a study of nearly 1000 participants, Strubel and Petrie (2017) compared body image concerns between users and nonusers of the dating app Tinder.
They found that regardless of gender, Tinder users reported significantly lower levels of satisfaction with their faces and bodies and higher levels of internalization, appearance comparisons and body shame compared to non-users .
This study’s findings contribute to the limited literature exploring the association between dating app use and adverse health outcomes, particularly UWCBs.
While additional longitudinal and representative research is needed, public health professionals ought to explore dating app use as a potential risk factor for UWCBs.
For instance, people are using dating apps for socializing, to pass time, to improve their flirting and social skills, and to engage in casual sex [4,5,6].
Prior studies suggest that dating apps may serve as an avenue for members of sexual and gender minority groups (e.g., individuals who identity as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) to meet without having to disclose their sexual orientation identity or attraction to others in a more public setting .
As with social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, dating apps also allow people to connect, network and socialize with others, often providing an opportunity to see other users’ semi-public profiles and photos .
On Tinder , which has an estimated 50 million users worldwide and 10 million active daily users , users can “swipe right” or “swipe left” to indicate if they respectively like or dislike a particular profile .
Online dating has become increasingly popular in the United States (U. In addition, results from a 2017 survey suggest current dating app use could be as high as 30% among 18- to 29-year-old U. And while they are primarily marketed as an avenue to find dates and potential romantic partners, motivations to use dating apps have evolved over time.
Dating app use is common among both men and women and these apps are often used to find romantic and sexual partners.
They represent a growingly popular form of non-traditional media that provides a digital platform where people can evaluate others based on many attributes, including physical appearance.
In this study, we evaluated the association between dating app use and unhealthy weight control behaviors (UWCBs) among a sample of U. Survey assessed participants’ self-reported frequency of using dating apps within the past 30 days and engagement in six UWCBs with the purpose of lowering weight or changing their body shape within the past 12 months.
UWCBs included vomiting, laxative use, fasting, diet pill use, muscle building supplement use, and use of anabolic steroids.