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Strong is the new skinny: A content analysis of fitspiration websites.

Published on Jun 1, 2016in Body Image3.12
· DOI :10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.03.001
Leah Boepple3
Estimated H-index: 3
(USF: University of South Florida),
Rheanna N. Ata5
Estimated H-index: 5
(USF: University of South Florida)
+ 1 AuthorsJ. Kevin Thompson70
Estimated H-index: 70
(USF: University of South Florida)
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Abstract
Abstract “Fitspiration” websites are media that aim to inspire people to live healthy and fit lifestyles through motivating images and text related to exercise and diet. Given the link between similar Internet content (i.e., healthy living blogs) and problematic messages, we hypothesized that content on these sites would over-emphasize appearance and promote problematic messages regarding exercise and diet. Keywords “fitspo” and “fitspiration” were entered into search engines. The first 10 images and text from 51 individual websites were rated on a variety of characteristics. Results indicated that a majority of messages found on fitspiration websites focused on appearance. Other common themes included content promoting exercise for appearance-motivated reasons and content promoting dietary restraint. “Fitspiration” websites are a source of messages that reinforce over-valuation of physical appearance, eating concerns, and excessive exercise. Further research is needed to examine the impact viewing such content has on participants’ psychological health.
  • References (24)
  • Citations (36)
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References24
Newest
Published on Jan 1, 2016in International Journal of Eating Disorders3.52
Leah Boepple3
Estimated H-index: 3
(USF: University of South Florida),
J. Kevin Thompson70
Estimated H-index: 70
(USF: University of South Florida)
Objective “Pro-ana” or Thinspiration websites are internet sites that support weight loss and eating disorders. Fitspiration websites are a newer type of site that supposedly advocates a fit and healthy lifestyle. Method The first 10 images from a sample of 50 Fitspiration and 50 Thinspiration websites, chosen using a standard internet search protocol, were rated on a variety of weight, eating, and appearance characteristics. χ2 analyses were conducted to compare website content. Results Thinspi...
Published on Jan 1, 2016in European Eating Disorders Review3.15
Rachel F. Rodgers21
Estimated H-index: 21
(NU: Northeastern University),
Alice S. Lowy4
Estimated H-index: 4
(NU: Northeastern University)
+ 1 AuthorsDebra L. Franko49
Estimated H-index: 49
(NU: Northeastern University)
Previous research has indicated that exposure to pro-eating disorder websites might increase eating pathology; however, the magnitude of this effect is unknown. This study aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the effect of exposure to pro-eating disorder websites on body image and eating pathology. Studies examining the relationship between exposure to pro-eating disorder websites and eating pathology-related outcomes were included. The systematic review identified n...
Published on Sep 1, 2015in Body Image3.12
Marika Tiggemann74
Estimated H-index: 74
(Flinders University),
Mia Zaccardo3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Flinders University)
Abstract Fitspiration is an online trend designed to inspire viewers towards a healthier lifestyle by promoting exercise and healthy food. The present study aimed to experimentally investigate the impact of fitspiration images on women's body image. Participants were 130 female undergraduate students who were randomly assigned to view either a set of Instagram fitspiration images or a control set of travel images presented on an iPad. Results showed that acute exposure to fitspiration images led...
Published on Jun 1, 2015in Body Image3.12
Jannath Ghaznavi1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis),
Laramie D. Taylor12
Estimated H-index: 12
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis)
Abstract The present study extends research on thinspiration images, visual and/or textual images intended to inspire weight loss, from pro-eating disorder websites to popular photo-sharing social media websites. The article reports on a systematic content analysis of thinspiration images ( N = 300) on Twitter and Pinterest . Images tended to be sexually suggestive and objectifying with a focus on ultra-thin, bony, scantily-clad women. Results indicated that particular social media channels and ...
Published on May 1, 2014in International Journal of Eating Disorders3.52
Leah Boepple3
Estimated H-index: 3
(USF: University of South Florida),
Joel K. Thompson28
Estimated H-index: 28
(USF: University of South Florida)
Objective “Healthy” living blogs are a recent addition to internet media that offer advice on improving physical and mental health. Often, these sites include information on eating, exercise, and self-image. This study was a content analysis designed to evaluate the information included on these sites. Method A sample of 21 blogs was selected from a larger sample for evaluation. These blogs were chosen based on two criteria: they had won an award for healthy blogs and they had a large number of ...
Published on Mar 1, 2014in Body Image3.12
Kristin J. Homan10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Grove City College),
Tracy L. Tylka36
Estimated H-index: 36
(OSU: Ohio State University)
Abstract Individuals with a positive body image appreciate their bodies, hold an internal perspective of their bodies, and are satisfied with the functionality of their bodies. Research shows that positive body image is more complex than the absence of body dissatisfaction. Although exercise reduces women's body dissatisfaction, very little research has explored how, or even whether, exercise is associated with positive body image. Therefore, we examined whether exercise frequency was positively...
Published on Aug 1, 2010in American Journal of Public Health5.38
Dina L. G. Borzekowski25
Estimated H-index: 25
(Johns Hopkins University),
Summer Schenk1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Johns Hopkins University)
+ 1 AuthorsRebecka Peebles14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Stanford University)
Objectives. The Internet offers Web sites that describe, endorse, and support eating disorders. We examined the features of pro–eating disorder Web sites and the messages to which users may be exposed.Methods. We conducted a systematic content analysis of 180 active Web sites, noting site logistics, site accessories, “thinspiration” material (images and prose intended to inspire weight loss), tips and tricks, recovery, themes, and perceived harm.Results. Practically all (91%) of the Web sites we...
Published on Jul 1, 2010in Sex Roles2.28
Jennifer L Stevens Aubrey16
Estimated H-index: 16
(MU: University of Missouri)
The present research had two goals: (1) to document how health advice is framed on the covers of women’s health magazines, and (2) to investigate whether exposure to appearance frames (i.e., do something in order to look better) affected women’s body-related self-perceptions compared to health frames (i.e., to do something in order to feel better). Study 1, a content analysis of 426 cover headlines on the five highest-circulating women’s health magazines in the United States, revealed that appea...
Published on Jun 1, 2010in Body Image3.12
Kristin J. Homan10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Grove City College)
Abstract Although internalization of the thin ideal has been extensively researched and is now regarded as a risk factor for eating disturbance, endorsement of the firm, athletic body ideal has received only minimal attention. This short-term longitudinal study explored whether internalization of two aspects of the current cultural ideal (thinness and athleticism) prospectively predicted three potentially deleterious outcomes: body dissatisfaction, dieting, and compulsive exercise. Undergraduate...
Published on Mar 23, 2010in Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research
Catherine M. Sabiston36
Estimated H-index: 36
(McGill University),
Krista Chandler1
Estimated H-index: 1
(U of W: University of Windsor)
The effects of exposure to fitness advertising on multiple dimensions of female body image were explored. Healthy weight females (N = 185) were randomly assigned to a model-focused, product-focused, or control group and completed body image inventories during a pre-test and following exposure to fitness advertising 1 week later. There were no significant main effects for group or time on any body image measures. A group by time interaction was observed for affective body image, F(1, 179) = 45.52...
Cited By36
Newest
Published on Jan 1, 2020
Jesper Andreasson7
Estimated H-index: 7
,
Thomas Johansson14
Estimated H-index: 14
Published on Apr 17, 2019
Tao Wang2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Southampton),
Tao Wang6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Southampton)
+ 1 AuthorsEmmanouil Mentzakis11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Southampton)
Growing evidence shows that social media facilitate diffusion of both pro-recovery and anti-recovery information among people affected by mental health problems, while little is known about the associations of people’s activities in sharing different types of information. Our work explores this question by analyzing a large set of Twitter conversations among users who self-identified as eating disordered. We use clustering algorithms to identify topics shared in online conversations and represen...
Published on Oct 1, 2019in Computers in Human Behavior4.31
Cheng-Ting Peng , Tai-Yee Wu1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 1 AuthorsDavid J. Atkin24
Estimated H-index: 24
Abstract This study examines the effects of Instagram fitspiration images on male viewers' work out intention by integrating the processes of social comparison and social cognitive theory. The results from 1428 Instagram users in Taiwan, with the directions of comparison (upward, lateral, and downward) manipulated, indicate that upward comparisons with attractive models would strengthen self-improvement motives related to working out. In addition, pleasant affective responses to the images and o...
Published on Aug 28, 2019in Journal of Health Psychology2.26
Sabrina DiBisceglie (University of Scranton), Danielle Arigo13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Rowan University)
#fitspiration is a popular social media trend for sharing fitness-related content. To date, however, it is not clear how best to harness the power of this trend to improve users’ health, including ...
Published on 2019in Journal of Health Psychology2.26
Beth T. Bell6
Estimated H-index: 6
(York St John University),
Nova Deighton-Smith1
Estimated H-index: 1
(LBU: Leeds Beckett University),
Megan Hurst3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Sussex)
Adolescents access information about fitness, including content labelled as #fitspiration, through social media. Seventy-seven adolescents (M age = 12.49; SD = 0.55; Girls = 27) participated in semi-structured focus groups to explore their perspectives on #fitspiration and fitness more broadly. Through inductive thematic analysis, four themes were developed: (1) Fitness enhances physical function and appearance, but these are not always linked, (2) Fitness is transformative but requires hard wor...
Published on Jul 24, 2019in Sport Education and Society1.96
María José Camacho-Miñano2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Complutense University of Madrid),
Sarah MacIsaac2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Edin.: University of Edinburgh),
Emma Rich11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Bath)
ABSTRACTSocial media can become a site of public pedagogy (Rich, E., & Miah, A. (2014). Understanding digital health as public pedagogy: A critical framework. Societies, 4(2), 296–315. doi:10.3390/soc4020296) through which young people learn about health and fitness. Photo and video-sharing social networks are emerging as sites of media practices through which images of the perfect fit body circulate, popularly known as ‘fitspiration’ media. Our research examines how girls and young women negoti...
Published on Jun 20, 2019in Sociological Inquiry0.61
Callie Batts Maddox1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Miami University),
Jaime R. DeLuca5
Estimated H-index: 5
(TU: Towson University),
Jacob J. Bustad1
Estimated H-index: 1
(TU: Towson University)
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Body Image3.12
Diana E. Betz3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Loyola University Maryland),
Natalie J. Sabik6
Estimated H-index: 6
(URI: University of Rhode Island),
Laura R. Ramsey9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Bridgewater State University)
Abstract Body dissatisfaction and self-objectification can arise when women view idealized thin bodies, as well as idealized athletic or curvy bodies. State-level social comparisons have been shown to mediate such effects, with mixed evidence for the moderating role of trait-level social comparison. An experiment tested the hypotheses that viewing messages idealizing thin, athletic, and curvy bodies would be associated with greater state social comparison as compared to a body acceptance conditi...
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Body Image3.12
Rachel Cohen3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UTS: University of Technology, Sydney),
Lauren Irwin3
Estimated H-index: 3
(USYD: University of Sydney)
+ 1 AuthorsAmy Slater21
Estimated H-index: 21
(University of the West of England)
Abstract In the last decade, the body image literature has begun to extend beyond a primary focus on body image disturbances and examine the construct of positive body image. Similarly, “Body positivity” is a growing social media trend that seeks to challenge dominant societal appearance ideals and promote acceptance and appreciation of all bodies and appearances. The present study provides a content analysis of body positive posts on Instagram. A set of 640 Instagram posts sampled from popular ...
Published on May 4, 2019in Fat Studies
Jennifer B. Webb12
Estimated H-index: 12
(UNCC: University of North Carolina at Charlotte),
Erin Vinoski Thomas1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UNCC: University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
+ 3 AuthorsDavina Y. Putz1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UNCC: University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
ABSTRACTContemporary fat studies scholarship seeks to challenge and critique the normative weightist lens through which modern social media for example stereotypically represent the embodiment of higher-weight individuals or the typical underrepresentation of body diversity in the cases of mainstream Fitspiration and yoga lifestyle media. Simultaneously, proponents of the fat acceptance/body positivity movement are currently at odds over the increasingly expansive appropriation of the term curvy...
View next paper“Exercise to be fit, not skinny”: The effect of fitspiration imagery on women's body image