This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and to mark the event, TikTok has announced that it’s partnering with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and the National Alliance for Eating Disorders to highlight critical info, while it’s also working with various creators to showcase key resources and tools to help those who may be suffering from eating-related issues.
The main element of TikTok’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week push will be these in-app alerts, which will share more information and links.
“On TikTok people can find more information about this year's Eating Disorder Awareness Week and links to NEDA and The Alliance's life-saving resources, including tips on how to support a loved one dealing with an eating disorder, and access to the organizations' confidential helplines and treatment option.”
Various TikTok creators will also be sharing their experiences and recovery journeys by using the hashtag #ItsTimeforChange.
@alliancefored Together, we can help to smash the stigma around eating disorders by talking about them. If you feel comfortable, we encourage you to use the hashtag #itstimeforchange to share your personal experience as a reminder that eating disorders can affect anyone. - Please call the National Alliance for Eating Disorders at 866.662.1235, text “ALLIANCE” to 741741, or visit allianceforeatingdisorders.com to explore resources that work for you. #NOTONEMORE #EDAwareness #EDAW #EatingDisordersAwarenessWeek #MentalHealthAwareness ♬ Hope - Max Farrar
According to NEDA, eating disorders impact the lives of 28.8 million Americans, and millions more around the world, with people aged 12 through to 25 making up 95% of all cases. That makes TikTok one of the best platforms for reaching this audience, and it’s an important push for the platform to provide assistance with, as it looks to maximize the safety and security of its audience.
At the same time, TikTok has also been identified as a risk in this respect, with various studies showing that the platform’s all-powerful algorithm can rapidly divert users into eating disorder content if they show interest in diets or similar.
TikTok says that it does not allow content that promotes or normalizes eating disorders or disordered eating, while it also now redirects searches for phrases related to eating disorders to the National Eating Disorders Association's Helpline, as well as its own disordered eating guide in its Safety Center.
Ideally, these measures will help to address this key element, and help TikTok improve its systems in order to provide helpful guidance for at-risk users.