Websites and blogs that support anorexia — known as pro-ana sites — have been widely banned online by sites like Pinterest, Yahoo and Tumblr.
For anyone who’s ever visited a pro-ana site, the reason is clear: the content exchanged in these online communities is often shocking. They use images of emaciated models and celebrities as "thinspiration" for vulnerable girls, and include frank discussions of the best methods for achieving extreme weight loss.
Anorexia is the most deadly of all psychiatric disorders, and pro-ana websites can be especially distressing to family members and friends of those who are suffering from it.
But it is precisely because anorexia is so devastating — and so stigmatized — that such websites may be a boon to some of those who visit them. Like similar groups for addicted people who are not ready to give up drugs, they can provide a rare source of nonjudgmental support for people with eating disorders.
According to Daphna Yeshua-Katz, a doctoral student at Indiana University, who co-authored a new study on pro-ana sites appearing in the journal Health Communication, a close look at these sites reveals certain benefits: behind the exhortations to achieve bodily perfection or to glorify an often-fatal psychiatric illness, there are communities of people, mainly women, who understand each others’ demons.
Full story of pro-anorexia Web sites at CNN Health
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By Ben Spencer
EATING disorders are usually associated with impressionable teenage girls.
But the quest for physical perfection is now taking its toll on a growing population of teenage boys, who obsessively exercise to emulate muscle-bound men they see on TV.
Riverdale Specialist Eating Disorders Hospital in Sheffield has seen a third of the beds in its teenage unit taken up by adolescent males since it opened the department 18 months ago.
The hospital’s development manager Claire Lockwood, speaking to mark Eating Disorders Awareness Week, told The Star the problems of male eating disorders have always been underestimated.
“It used to be thought that one in 10 people with an eating disorder were male,” she said.
“Now it is thought that it is closer to one in four. In my experience it is a growing problem with young men.
Full story about eating disorders in males at The Star
By Elizabeth Landau
(CNN) — The purse was by designer Baby Phat, and it was only $5. But when Elizabeth Deiter bought it at the thrift store where she works, she immediately had to run over to the bank and deposit money to avoid running a negative balance.
She and her husband only recently caught up on their rent, after four or five months, and Deiter has close to 100 purses already, but she still went for the bargain. In thinking about this and other splurges on things she didn’t need, Deiter has begun to consider herself a compulsive shopper.
“I am ashamed of it,” says Deiter, 22, of Reading, Pennsylvania. “I’ve screwed up a lot. I know I should stop.”
With holiday season discounts running rampant online and in stores, it’s especially easy to fall into the trap of overspending this month, especially if you have a problem with impulse control at the mall. But beyond carelessness with finances, compulsive shopping is a mental disorder that psychologists recognize, although it has not been studied extensively.
Full story at CNN
By Laura Williams
We’re now well into the calorie finale of the year and although the next few weeks are traditionally about treating yourself like a willing foie gras goose, before you throw calorie caution to the wind, maybe consider a damage limitation plan. Before you let your hair down (and inevitably your belt out) once and for all, consider these Ten Commandments for Fighting the Festive Flab.
Thou Shalt Watch the Liquid Calories.
This is a terrible time of year for liquid calories – whether you’re slugging back shots of Baileys (that’s 45 mins of kissing under the mistletoe to burn off one serving) or indulging in a seasonal Starbucks (1.5 hrs of dancing to Wham to burn off a Starbucks Venti Eggnog Latte), liquid cals are this season’s hidden enemy.
Thou Shalt Have a Motivator Outfit.
Everyone needs an outfit goal. Whether that’s a strapless, backless number you want to rock à la Megan Fox, or a pair of salopettes that you want to pull off 007-style, it’s all about the outfit. Try it on regularly over the festive period and if it’s getting snug, slow down on the Stilton.
Full story at Huffington Post