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TikTok adds features to support users dealing with eating disorders

Kris Holt
·Contributing Writer
·2-min read

TikTok has teamed up with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) to provide support and resources to people who are dealing with eating disorders. The platform is marking National Eating Disorders Awareness Week with features to encourage body inclusivity.

Users who search for terms like "eating disorder," "edrecovery" (eating disorder recovery) or "proana" (pro-anorexia) will see a link to support resources along with NEDA contact details. TikTok says it will offer advice that it developed alongside experts on eating disorders on "how to identify negative self-talk, think about one's own positive attributes and strengths or support a friend who may be struggling."

NEDA also helped TikTok to create public service announcements. These will appear on pages for hashtags such as #whatieatinaday, #emotionaleatingtips, #bingerecovery and others that are aimed at bolstering awareness or fostering support for recovery and those who have been affected by eating disorders. Again, the PSAs include contact details for NEDA.

During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, TikTok's Discover page will explain the theme for this year's edition, which is called Every Body Has a Seat at the Table. It also has information about warning signs and symptoms of eating disorders. Additionally, the service is encouraging the TikTok community to get involved in the conversation around eating disorders by using the hashtag #NEDAwareness.

Like other social media services, TikTok has wrangled with issues of body positivity and eating disorders over the years. The platform has enacted other measures to support body positivity. It banned ads for fasting apps and weight loss supplements in September and added stricter rules around those that promote negative or harmful body images. In December, it banned certain hashtags related to eating disorders. 

Meanwhile, a complaint was recently filed against TikTok in the European Union. It has been accused of violating the EU's GDPR data privacy laws, in part due to an alleged failure to protect kids from hidden "advertising and inappropriate content."