Managing your weight, counting calories, monitoring your diet, monitoring your sports practice,… millions of people use applications identified as “fitness”.

According to Beat, the British association for people with eating disorders, and a BBC survey, some mobile applications are believed to promote unhealthy behavior and the emergence of eating disorders, including orthorexia.

Police and potentially harmful applications

Calorie counting, sports session planning, reminders, these applications are real incentives to control the body and to avoid certain categories of food.

The BBC survey lists about 20 harmful entries generated by MyFitnessPal users.
Expressions such as “hungry“, “I eat too much and hate my life” and “failure – fat” are among the list of foods that can be recorded.

Jack Henderson, a 21-year-old British boy, testifies. The use of MyFitnessPal has allowed her eating disorder to “turn into a spiral”. He only chose foods present in the application. He preferred prepared dishes to homemade ones because he could note them in his application. Even when he had a bulimia attack, Jack noticed in the application that he had taken a normal meal. He gave himself the illusion of controlling his diet when in reality, he was controlled by the application. Following a severe crisis in December 2018, the young man’s parents encouraged him to seek treatment in a specialized clinic. During his treatment, doctors immediately encouraged him to remove this application.

Holly Moyse, 25, is also a former user of MyFitnessPal. It was during this period that she developed an anorexic disorder. She says that using this application led her to weigh everything she ingested, even lettuce. Also a sports addict, Holly had to be hospitalized because her health was in danger.

Specialized physicians do not believe that eating disorders developed in some people are directly related to these applications. However, they advise them to adopt a more moderate content to support people suffering from these behaviors. Tom Quinn of Beat says that calorie calculation becomes an obsession for some people. For him, these applications can only exacerbate eating disorders.

How does feeleat differ from these applications?

The feeleat application is a digital food diary that differs from fitness applications in several ways:

  • No weight, no numbers, no calories, feeleat helps you reconnect to your feelings and does not encourage you to track the nutritional value of your food intake,
  • Feeleat was developed in collaboration with a community of thousands of people prone to eating and digestive disorders, their families and health professionals,
  • Feeleat is resolutely focused on therapeutic support and improving the quality of life. Our objective is that everyone, whatever their difficulty, objectives, or diet, finds pleasure in eating, and is able to do so while being socially fulfilled.


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