Health & Fitness

Health Experts Warn That The ‘Love Island Effect’ Could Be Causing Body Image Issues

Required reading for any Love Island devotee.

By Zoe Anastasiou

In theory, watching a group of hot people on an island vying for each other's love and affection might seem like all fun and games, but experts are warning that there could be some serious issues behind watching television shows such as Love Island.

The National Health Service in the UK has called out their nation's version of the show specifically, and highlighted the fact that Love Island UK airs alongside ads for cosmetic surgery and augmentation, noting that this can be particularly damaging for young, impressionable men and women.

As reported by The Independent, Dr Jon Goldin, an adolescent psychiatrist, also echoed these concerns.

"I think any advertising for cosmetic surgery is questionable but locating it during Love Island where people are walking around in bikinis with unusually fit bodies—people are going to compare themselves unfavourably and that's going to make them feel more insecure. As a society we have a responsibility to take these issues seriously," he explained to the publication today.

However, this is not the first time concerns have been raised around a television show that purports somewhat unattainable images. Several people are already discussing the "Love Island Effect" online, and explaining how damaging the reinforcement of one particular body type can be.

Psychologist, Kimberley Wilson, explained that studies have proven watching 'perfect' bodies on television can have an impact on an individual's self-esteem.

Speaking to Cosmopolitan UK, Wilson elaborated on how the "Love Island Effect," draws on the Social Comparison Theory, in which people base their own self worth in comparing themselves to others. While historically, this has meant comparing ourselves to friends and family, the increase of social media and reality television shows means we have an entirely new basis for comparison, which as Wilson explained, can often "create a sense of inadequacy."

She also noted that while watching the show, it is important to keep in mind that, "Someone else's body is in no way a reflection of your own. They have different genetics, histories with food, metabolisms, lifestyles and micro-biomes that all affect why we look different from one another."