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Clinical Trial Summary

This research will explore the impact of digital technology, specifically social media, on the health behaviours of mothers in the postpartum period by conducting an experimental study to test the effect of social media messaging on body dissatisfaction, eating attitudes and behaviours, and physical activity intentions and behaviours among postpartum mothers. Our primary objective is to determine the extent to which body image messaging targeting mothers, compared with the control, result in feelings of body dissatisfaction and poorer eating attitudes and behaviours, and increased physical activity intention immediately following the 5-day exposure period. Our secondary objective is to determine the sustained impact of the body image messaging compared to control at 1-month follow-up.


Clinical Trial Description

The postpartum period is a critical time for both maternal and child health. Body dissatisfaction is higher during the postpartum period compared to other periods of life and is strongly associated with disordered eating behaviours. Body dissatisfaction among mothers not only effects the health of mothers but can also negatively influence the eating attitudes and behaviours of their children. Although research has shown that media images have a strong adverse influence of women's body dissatisfaction, most of this research has focused on traditional forms of media, such as magazines. Limited research has explored how messages and images on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, influence women's body dissatisfaction and disordered eating risk, and no studies have explored this association among mothers. This is a concern as nearly 90% of mothers use social media regularly. Thus, little is known about how the current media environment influences body dissatisfaction and eating behaviour during the postpartum period. The proposed research will address this knowledge gap by conducting an experimental study to test the effect of social media messaging on body dissatisfaction, eating attitudes and behaviours, and physical activity intentions and behaviours among postpartum mothers. Our primary objective is to determine the extent to which body image messaging targeting mothers, compared with the control, result in feelings of body dissatisfaction and poorer eating attitudes and behaviours, and increased physical activity intention immediately following the 5-day exposure period. Our secondary objective is to determine the sustained impact of the body image messaging compared to control at 1-month follow-up. This study will provide a much-needed understanding of the effect of digital technology on postpartum mothers' body dissatisfaction, eating attitudes and behaviours, and physical activity intentions and behaviours. Results will inform healthcare interventions, equipping clinicians with research-based evidence to support postpartum mothers in maintaining positive body image and healthy eating and physical activity attitudes and behaviours. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05181280
Study type Interventional
Source University of Guelph
Contact
Status Completed
Phase N/A
Start date November 15, 2020
Completion date February 21, 2021

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