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

Published on Jun 1, 2016in Body Image3.124
· 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 Thompson71
Estimated H-index: 71
(USF: University of South Florida)
Sources
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 (43)
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References24
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#1Rachel F. Rodgers (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 21
#2Alice S. Lowy (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 4
Last. Debra L. Franko (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 50
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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...
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#1Leah Boepple (USF: University of South Florida)H-Index: 3
#2J. Kevin Thompson (USF: University of South Florida)H-Index: 71
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...
64 CitationsSource
#1Marika Tiggemann (Flinders University)H-Index: 76
#2Mia Zaccardo (Flinders University)H-Index: 3
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...
122 CitationsSource
#1Jannath Ghaznavi (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 2
#2Laramie D. Taylor (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 13
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 ...
69 CitationsSource
#1Leah Boepple (USF: University of South Florida)H-Index: 3
#2Joel K. Thompson (USF: University of South Florida)H-Index: 22
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#1Jennifer L Stevens Aubrey (MU: University of Missouri)H-Index: 16
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...
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#1Kristin J. Homan (Grove City College)H-Index: 11
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...
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#1Catherine M. Sabiston (McGill University)H-Index: 36
#2Krista J Chandler (U of W: University of Windsor)H-Index: 1
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...
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