Internet addiction symptoms, disordered eating, and body image avoidance Academic Article uri icon


  • Internet addiction is an increasing concern among young adults. Self-presentational theory posits that the Internet offers a context in which individuals are able to control their image. Little is known about body image and eating concerns among pathological Internet users. The aim of this study was to explore the association between Internet addiction symptoms, body image esteem, body image avoidance, and disordered eating. A sample of 392 French young adults (68 percent women) completed an online questionnaire assessing time spent online, Internet addiction symptoms, disordered eating, and body image avoidance. Fourteen men (11 percent) and 26 women (9.7 percent) reported Internet addiction. Body image avoidance was associated with Internet addiction symptoms among both genders. Controlling for body-mass index, Internet addiction symptoms, and body image avoidance were both significant predictors of disordered eating among women. These findings support the self-presentational theory of Internet addiction and suggest that body image avoidance is an important factor.


publication date

  • 2013