The Harmful Emergence of Pro-Bulimia Attitudes


Though bulimia is classified as an eating disorder, not everyone with bulimia feels like they have a disorder. Some view bulimia and anorexia as lifestyles—chosen lifestyles.

People with bulimia and anorexia are terrified or shamed by the thought of getting fat or even eating. They have an unhealthy body image and feel that, no matter how they actually look, they are overweight. People with bulimia may binge on food, but then they either vomit after meals, abuse laxatives, or exercise excessively. People with anorexia starve themselves. Ninety percent of eating disorders are in women, many in their teens.

Pro-bulimia and pro-anorexia groups reside on the Internet. Web sites and message boards run by mostly teenage girls are devoted to “Ana,” short for “anorexia,” and “Mia,” short for “bulimia.”  Many of these Web sites use nutritional information to plan diets like, for example, how to eat the needed requirements of vitamins and minerals in the fewest of calories. Other sections teach the reader how to eat the fewest calories in a day, how to hide anorexia or bulimia from other people, and other information to, essentially, make having an eating disorder more efficient.

To the people who are pro-bulimia and pro-anorexia, eating disorders are a choice. Many Web sites include pages dedicated to “thinsperation,” quotes, art, and pictures of skinny or obese people to encourage readers to lose weight. The Web sites are support groups to the people who use them.

Many people, however, find the pro-bulimia and pro-anorexia pages disturbing. Eating disorder treatment professionals have debated how to best handle the people who view their eating disorder as a lifestyle. Some have argued that these Web sites should be shut down, but others say this will not fix the problem, and that women have been talking about weight with each other for ages.

The best solution to these Web sites, many professionals say, is to try to change the culture that creates women who feel too fat. Young women—and men—should be praised for their accomplishments, not their appearance. Healthy appetites and body images should be encouraged, and teenagers should receive love and support from the adults close to them.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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