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Dark Side Of Fitness Trackers: Study Reveals Users Treated Wearables As Part Of Their Body - Causing Anorexia, Bulimia?

The dark side of fitness trackers lingers on as more and more studies reveal that, when misused, the devices can cause eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.

By Pia Z., EnStars on Feb 17, 2017 01:03 PM EST
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The dark side of fitness trackers linger on as more and more studies reveal that, when misused, the devices can cause eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. (Photo : Eric Thayer / Stringer Getty Images)

With the undeniable domination of technology in the everyday lives of humans, it's hard to imagine a day without using a smartphones, tablets, laptops, fitness trackers, wearables or any other technological gadget. The prevalence of technology has managed to seep into man's lifestyle with some even designed to track the health, diet and exercise routines, with a purpose to make things easier. However, what if fitness trackers are not actually helping humans to be fit?

According to the Android Authority, individuals who are very conscious about their health and fitness are usually the ones who get blinded and fail to see the dark side of fitness trackers. At one glance, fitness trackers appear to be a foolproof gadget that would help individuals reach their fitness goals. However, it might actually do more harm than good, when not used properly.

One of the most common dark sides of fitness trackers has something to do with data addiction. Because of its accuracy to take note of the calories consumed, track the exercises and even count the steps one makes throughout a day, some users are reportedly drawn or addicted to the data.

Addicted in the sense that fitness tracker users can't seem to enjoy meals without counting the calories first. According to IFL Science, a study composed of 200 women revealed that a whopping 89% admitted that they treated the fitness trackers not as devices but as part of their bodies, wearing it constantly and only removing it to charge the batteries.

Fitness trackers from Fitbit, Garmin or Microsoft give the users digital rewards and badges for different diet, exercises or total steps walked within the day. As per human nature, getting rewards can be an enjoyable experience, which makes individuals more motivated to maintain the behavior or even do better. However, another dark side of fitness trackers surfaces in this instance as it might cause eating disorders.

The top two common eating disorders, anorexia, and bulimia, are reportedly caused by the addictive nature of losing weight. This opens up the dark side of fitness trackers as users get addicted to the numbers and data shown whenever they lose weight. Overall, fitness trackers are not necessarily evil, but users must use it with caution and common sense and strive to maintain a healthy outlook in life to avoid being a victim of fitness trackers.

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