The study, which was published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, surveyed more than 1 700 adults in the US, between the ages of 18 and 65. Picture: Reuters

A new Harvard study has found that people who use dating apps are more likely to develop eating disorders, abuse laxatives or use other unhealthy weight-loss practices.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, surveyed more than 1 700 adults in the US, between the ages of 18 and 65. 

It found that women were particularly susceptible while using apps like Tinder. Their odds of using unhealthy weight controls was 2.3 to 26.9 times higher. This included self-induced vomiting, fasting or using diet pills.

Men didn't fare much better either. For them, the odds of using unhealthy weight management practices, including using steroids, were 3.2 to 14.6 times higher.

“Individual dating app users are continuously engaging in a cycle in which they are evaluating profile pictures and brief descriptions of others, yet are being subject to scrutiny themselves,” wrote study author Dr Alvin Tran.

After the results of the study were published, CNBC asked Bumble and Tinder for comment. Both declined the request.