The exponential growth of social media over the last decade has had a dramatic impact on people’s perceptions of body image. We conducted a study looking at how users feel body image has been affected by Instagram—and if medics (doctors and medical students) could aid in combatting these negative perceptions. We did this by sharing a five-part online survey over the course of 17 days. We received 113 responses in total, 80.5% of which were from the United Kingdom, the majority (73%) from people aged 18 - 30, with 58% of respondents being female and 42% male respectively. Our results showed that almost half (46.3%) of females felt that Instagram negatively affected their perception of body image compared with 29.8% of males. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of respondents, 99 (88%), believed it would be beneficial for medics to post educational material on health and body image on Instagram. Although our study was done on a small population, it provides a starting point for further and broader explorations into how Instagram “influencers” can affect the body image perceptions of their followers—and what role medics can play in circumventing some of the more deleterious effects associated with social media use.
Cite this paper
Qureshi, M. , Burhan, R. , Olaiya, R. , Imtiaz, S. , Smallwood, E. and Munaf, A. (2020). The Medics Role in Promoting Health Consciousness and Positive Body Image on Instagram. Open Access Library Journal, 7, e7060. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1107060.
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