Weight Loss Persuasive Technology and Eating Disorder

by Thursby, Lisa M

Abstract (Summary)
People increasingly micromanage their lives through technology; every moment and action accounted for by electronic devices. People can even micromanage their health by using devices that calculate every calorie consumed and expended. These devices are among a new class of technology called persuasive technology.

Such devices cleverly persuade users to increase their exercise and decrease their caloric intake. These devices are attractive to girls with eating disorders as they struggle with the narrowing mainstream definition of beauty—now synonymous with anorexia. The volatility of the situation is compounded by the pro-ana movement, an Internet based phenomenon where girls seek empowerment through eating disorder.

If society accepts this new persuasive weight loss technology without question, the results are predictable. A weight-obsessed American culture will proclaim weight loss success while the already epidemic number of girls with eating disorders will increase.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Brian Sturm

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:persuasion psychology computer programs human interaction eating disorders anorexia nervosa


Date of Publication:10/07/0004

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