Dating app use and unhealthy weight control behaviors among a sample of U.S. adults : a cross-sectional study / Alvin Tran, Christian Suharlim, Heather Mattie, Kirsten Davison, Madina Agénor, S. Bryn Austin. - (Journal of Eating Disorders 7 (2019) 16 (31 May); p. 1-12).
- PMID: 31164984.
- PMCID: PMC6543621.
- DOI: 10.1186/s40337-019-0244-4
Online dating has become increasingly popular over the years. Few research studies have examined the association between dating apps and disordered eating. In this study, we evaluated the association between dating app use and unhealthy weight control behaviors (UWCBs) among a sample of U.S. adults.
Our sample includes 1769 adults who completed an online survey assessing dating app use and UWCBs in the past year. 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.
Results of multivariate logistic regression models suggest dating app users had substantially elevated odds of UWCBs compared with non-users (odds ratios [OR] range = 2.7-16.2). These findings were supported by results of additional gender-stratified multivariate logistic regression analyses among women and men.
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.