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Free Educational Webinar: “The Dangerous Intersection of Negative Body Image, Social Media, the Diet Industry, and Eating Disorders”

September 20, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Noon Mountain Time
The Dangerous Intersection of Negative Body Image, Social Media, the Diet Industry, and Eating Disorders
Nicole Hawkins, PhD, CEDS-S
CEO at Center for Change



Register here

Post-test: for reference only

Power Point Handout

About the Presenter:

Dr. Hawkins is a clinical psychologist and is the Chief Executive Officer at Center for Change. She is a specialist in eating disorders and body image and has provided clinical expertise at Center for Change since 1999. Dr. Hawkins developed a comprehensive body image program that focuses on the media, diet industry, plastic surgery, childhood issues, and learning to appreciate one’s body, and she leads these groups for the Inpatient and Residential patients at Center for Change. She is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (Supervisor), has published several articles, and presents regularly at national and regional conferences.

CE Information:

Center for Change has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6766. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Center for Change is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Center for Change, provider #141861 is a continuing professional education (CPE) accredited provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Activity #178074. CDR credentialed practitioners will receive one continuing professional education unit (CPEU) for completion of this activity.

This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval #886558729-3478) for 1 continuing education contact hours.

AADE recognizes NASW, APA, and CDR as continuing education providers on the NCBDE list of recognized approved providers. The continuing education must be applicable to diabetes. Participants are responsible for contacting their respective state and discipline licensing boards to confirm acceptance of CE hours.

Center for Change is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Center for Change maintains responsibility for this program and its content.



Description of Presentation:

This presentation aims to investigate the detrimental impact of social media, the diet industry,and the perpetuation of the thin ideal on the development of eating disorders among young girls and women. The rise of social media platforms has revolutionized communication and information dissemination, but has also brought a multitude of challenges, particularly in relation to body image dissatisfaction, mental health problems, and disordered eating behaviors for young girls and women.
The diet industry’s pervasive influence combined with the constant exposure to images and messages promoting the thin ideal, has created an environment in which young girls and women feel pressured to conform to unrealistic beauty standards. The diet industry’s relentless promotion of weight loss strategies and products reinforces harmful beliefs about body size, leading to a negative impact on body image and contributing to disordered eating. A growing body of research demonstrates longitudinal associations between social media use and poor mental health outcomes among adolescents, including anxiety, suicidality, depression, poor body image, and eating disorders. One driving factor is the role of social media on mental health concerns with social media platform’s use of algorithms, which drive increasingly extreme content to vulnerable youth users over time. This presentation will examine existing literature and looks at the direct and indirect effects of social media, the diet industry,and the thin ideal on body image dissatisfaction, depression, and disordered eating. The research indicates social media use is harming the mental health and body image of young girls. The increased eating disorder content on Instagram and TikTok will be examined and how this influence could potentially be increasing the prevalence and severity of eating disorders across the board in youth. Girls are surrounded by idealized bodies, constant filtered and perfected images, and diet culture on their feeds and are inundated with negative content coming at them in all directions due to sophisticated algorithms. As one page from internal Facebook Papers that was leaked through an investigative report put it, “we make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.” These platforms are aware of the concerns of their content and they continue to feed the damaging content to young users. A lawsuit was just filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Meta and the suit by the family states that Instagram caused their daughter’s eating disorder and self-harm. The lawyers on the case make unprecedented use of documents released with the Facebook Papers. It is critical that providers know how to properly assess the impact of social media on their clients,and how to help educate clients on the potential dangers. This presentation will highlight the need for greater awareness of the detrimental effects of social media and the diet industry and the perpetuation of the thin ideal on young girls and women. This presentation will also discuss brain development and how the process of brain development in mid-adolescence may heighten vulnerability to these platform algorithms. It underscores the importance of education, media literacy, intuitive eating, and the promotion of positive body image in mitigating the harmful influence of these factors.
Learning Objectives:
Based on the content of the workshop participants will be able to:
1.Identify how the thin-ideal in the media impacts adolescent girls and women.
2.Describe the impact of social media on the adolescent girls and women and the effects on mental health.
3.Discuss the diet industry and the role it plays on the development of poor body image and disordered eating, and the importance of intuitive eating.

Training For:

Staff of Hospitals, Medical Centers, Mental Health Clinics, General Medicine Physicians, Psychiatrists, APRN’s, Psychologists, Counselors, Dietitians, Nurses, Substance Abuse Counselors, Mental Health Technicians for all levels including introductory to advanced.


September 20, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm