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Being anorexic or bulimic is described as having a gift, an affirmative and special label.
According to Sara Forman, MD, director of Children’s Eating Disorder program, this feeds into the destructive elements of eating disorders.
“I’m about to start on a 30 hour fast, who’s with me? The Internet can be a dangerous place for young people, from online predators to identity theft.
Another girl posts a picture of her hipbone on her Twitter account, eliciting approving comments about how far it juts out.
“Although these sites try to suggest otherwise, eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice,” he says.
I am going to show you HOW to achieve your dream figure. All of this helps to make food a mere object rather than the devil itself. *Do not ever eat anything you do not know the exact amount of calories in. Scales are affected by everything from the weather to the time of day, but the numbers on a measuring tape are affected by nothing except the actual size of your body.
We try to help them stop defining themselves by their illness,” she says.
“If they truly want to engage in their eating disorder, these sites make it a lot more acceptable and easy to do so,” she says.
While she’s pleased research is being conducted, Forman also worries that the resulting media coverage may prompt more youth to search these websites out.
Many users visit the sites for “thinspiration,” images of paper-thin models who are held up as examples of perfection and female beauty.
On several of the sites, “Ana” and “Mia” are portrayed as powerful deities to be worshiped.
Now, adding to the list of potential online hazards, are a slew of websites that actually encourage eating disorders by asserting that anorexia and bulimia are lifestyle choices rather than life-threatening mental illnesses.