Dangerous Web Sites Promoting Eating Disorders
First there was “thinspiration”. . . and now we have “pro-ana” (pro-anorexia) and “pro-mia” (pro-bulimia)– websites dedicated to promoting the idea that eating disorders “are a good thing.”
This month, the National Eating Disorders Association’s NEDAwareness Week, the largest eating disorders outreach effort in the country, is scheduled for February 26-March 3. The goal is to reach millions of people with messages of prevention, hope and recovery.
In support of NEDA’s efforts, KidsTerrain is offering web site visitors a free viewing of its webinar, Teaching Body Confidence, presented by Rebecca Manley, founder of the Multiservice Eating Disorders Association, Inc. (MEDA). The free viewing is available through March 15.
One goal of companies and organizations such as KidsTerrain and NEDA, respectively, is to counter-balance the insidious message of pro-ana groups and organizations who state they “do not promote anorexia and acknowledge that anorexia is a real medical disorder.” The point of their existence is to give anorexics “a place to turn to discuss their illness in a non-judgmental environment.” In fairness, some sites do thinly (no pun intended) promote recovery. However, others dispute the prevailing medical consensus that anorexia nervosa and bulimia are complex illnesses rather than “lifestyle choices.”
According to the experts at Walden Behavioral Care, eating disorders have transitioned from a passing fad affecting college co-eds into a variety of life-threatening diseases that can affect anyone.
If someone you love seems to be losing weight rapidly, taking extreme measures to avoid eating, has radically changed their eating behavior, is exercising obsessively — all signs of eating disorder behavior–do something about it. Anorexia and bulimia are life-threatening diseases. Seek professional counseling immediately.