There’s been all kinds of methods to shedding a few kilos over the years. One of the more recent ways to stay motivated has been through weight loss apps that help you track calories and keep your diet in order. 

According to a new BBC report however, these apps may actually exacerbate eating disorders.  


Apps like MyFitnessPal, Lose It! and Lifesum apparently have several reports logging self-harm and punishments for over-eating. A charity named Beat that handles eating disorders also claimed that these apps could worsen unhealthy behaviours and make recovery harder.

An investigation by the BBC found over 20 harmful entries by users talking about starving and binging. They mentioned phrases like, “starved”, “I overate and I hate my life”, and “failure, fatty.”


21-year-old Jack Henderson claimed calorie-based apps had allowed his eating disorder to spiral, saying,

I would only pick foods that I could input in to MyFitnessPal. I’d avoid homemade stuff. I would only pick packaged stuff I could input in to the app. Even when I had a binge, a big loss of control, I logged it as best I could… it really fed in to this false warped illusion that I was in control – but it was controlling me.

The entries are prime examples of eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia. However, app developers say they promote healthy eating, and that safeguards are in place to protect vulnerable users.