Pro-Anorexia Sites Online

By: Stacy McCloud
By: Stacy McCloud

Knoxville (WVLT) - When you're searching for answers, many of you use your mouse to find them.

However in this age of the internet, a new trend is emerging.

Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud shows you how websites and groups are actually promoting dangerous eating disorders.

The internet. When you click on reliable pages, it can be a valuable tool for those seeking help for problems such as eating disorders.

But sometimes support is taken to a different level.

Images of a disease someone may be trying to rid themselves of, instead of being discouraged, are flashed in front of them as a positive thing.

"Individuals that are on the road to recovery and may be searching for support groups come across these groups and either slow or backtrack their progress to recovery," Lee Murphy, a nutritionist at the Knox County Health Department.

Pages on Myspace display bone thin pictures of members with names like "Trapped in Fat".

One of hundreds of teens and adults that are part of groups that encourage dropping to a dangerously low weight.

"A lot of times it will come across these websites that eating disorders are a chosen lifestyle rather than an illness and that is really not the case," says Murphy.

Some display skinny celebrities as motivation, others write that it's the "friends" they have online that motivate them to stay thin.

"They are feeding off tips and almost cheerleaders for each other," says Murphy.

And the pages aren't only unhealthy for those with the eating disorders.

"Just those browsing can almost come back with a negative self feelings even if they don't suffer from an eating disorder," Murphy says.

Unfortunately there isn't much that can be done, except using software to block your child from viewing these sites, and when seeking support for yourself, make sure you only click on credible pages that contain true signs of support.

If you or someone you know may be suffering from an eating disorder, you can find resources to credible support groups online.

www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/eatingdisorders.html

www.healthline.com

http://mentalhelp.net/poc/center_index.php?id=46

http://www.edreferral.com/


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