Girls are becoming more obsessed about being slim nowadays
Sunday November 13,2011
By Lucy Johnston and Chloe Randall
ALARMING numbers of teenagers are using a network of underground “pro-anorexia” websites that glamorise and promote the life-threatening eating disorder.
New research reveals that more than 10 per cent of schoolgirls aged 13 to 17 have used a pro-anorexia site, and almost six per cent of boys, despite high-profile search engines blocking them after media outrage.
A Sunday Express investigation has discovered that many sites have gone underground, allowing access only to those who know a password.
Tips and tricks to reach a “goal weight” include eating cotton wool, inflicting pain to inhibit cravings and viewing pictures of skinny models, celebrities and other site users to boost motivation.
There are also suggestions on how to dupe family and friends that a meal has been eaten.
Websites may have trademark emblems with which followers demonstrate their dedication to an anorexic lifestyle, such as a red bracelet, worn by celebrity Nicole Richie and actress Lindsay Lohan in the past. Mary George, of eating disorder charity Beat, said: “These sites should act responsibly. Anorexia and bulimia are dangerous activities and people can be encouraged to copy them.”
I would visit them many times a day. They lead you to believe you are an evil being if you eat. They can ultimately brainwash a very ill individual into thinking they are fine
Recovering anorexic David said such websites fuelled his eating disorder. “I would visit them many times a day. They lead you to believe you are an evil being if you eat. They can ultimately brainwash a very ill individual into thinking they are fine.
“One site recommended tips on how to lead loved ones into thinking you’ve eaten, one being to tip crumbs out of your toaster on to a plate to make it look like you had toast.
“I actually felt clever tricking people into thinking I was getting better when in fact I was being very deceitful and damaging myself further.”
Underground site Tumblr, an anonymous interactive blogging page, lets users post “inspirational” skinny pictures, videos, slimming tips and news of “slimming progress” without personal information. Fake names are often used and sufferers claim to have separate internet accounts for their “normal” identity to hide their illness from friends and family. The research, published in the European Eating Disorders Review, polled 711 teenagers, with 32 per cent having a positive opinion of the sites which encourage users to starve.
Deanne Jade, founder of the National Centre for Eating Disorders, claims access to treatment for anorexics is “very poor”.
Sufferers are known as “million-pound patients” because of the huge cost of dealing with the disorders.
size of the problems women face: Clare Heal – Page 43