Social media's impact on eating disorders

Posted at 4:30 AM, Aug 16, 2017

DENVER — The constant posting and sharing on social media may seem like everyone is constantly connected.

For kids heading back to school, they may be feeling extra pressure to keep up with putting out the perfect image.

Denver7 connected with doctors about what parents should be on the look out for on their kids' social media pages and any unhealthy habits they develop.

Doctors first suggested parents to be aware if their child has a sudden change in diet.

"Maybe they cut out carbohydrates or sugars or they become vegetarian or vegan or cut out dairy," said Margherita Mascolo, Executive Director of ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health.

Doctors said another sign is extreme or unhealthy amounts of exercise or dramatic shifts in behavior.

"They can be more anxious or more depressed or have more outbursts," said Mascolo.

Doctors shared other warning signs listed below:

-Avoiding social situations that revolve around food, such as holidays.

-Cutting food up into small pieces or smearing it around on a plate

ACUTE is the only specialized medical stabilization program in the country. Doctors provide medical care to patients who are too severely low weight or too medically compromised to seek care in a traditional inpatient or residential treatment center. Click here for more information about the center.

The Eating Disorders Program at Children's Hospital Colorado provides treatment for patients and family members to recognize and successfully treat eating disorders.

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"Checking in especially with teenagers or kids with smartphones about what sites do you like, how are you using them, how do they make you feel using them, those are really good conversations to have," said Jennifer Hagman, MD, Medical Director of Children's Eating Disorder Program.