Privacy and Weight Loss Apps: A First Look at How Women with Eating Disorders Use Social Features
Association for Computing Machinery
Women with eating disorders benefit from using social and community features of apps because they can get social support and information about their disorder. Although seeking help online may be easier than getting face-to-face treatment, there still may be a number of privacy concerns to sharing information, especially on apps not specifically intended for those with eating disorders, such as weight loss apps. Women with eating disorders are using weight loss apps, but are they using features that could help them get support for their disorder? This research begins to answer this question by presenting preliminary results from a qualitative study on how women with eating disorders use community and social features of weight loss apps. Early findings suggest women with eating disorders rarely use the community and social features of weight loss apps. This work highlights the tradeoffs between sharing information and privacy and has implications for app design.