The Pro-ana movement
I was hoping this movement wouldn't last. Apparently, however, it has acquired a following.
From the Associated Press via MSNBC:
"A preliminary survey of teens who have been diagnosed with eating disorders at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, for instance, found that 40 percent had visited Web sites that promote eating disorders."
These kids believe that "Ana" exists. They pray to her--they seek her out for comfort. No one is taking the power of Ana seriously, although I can't figure out why. This has turned into a religion, a very powerful religion that kids are grasping onto at a very vulnerable age. I have seen girls as young as 9-years old come in for ED treatment. We need to take this very seriously, from both a parenting and a therapy standpoint. We need to kill Ana.
There is nothing more that I can comment on here other than the obvious. I would like to comment, however, on a common theme among these sites used to promote the benefits of the pro-ana movement: caloric restriction.
Caloric restriction will not make you live longer. There are studies detailing how caloric restriction is good for your brain and how it can increase your life span. The data from these studies are pretty solid. The type of caloric restriction promoted in pro-ana literature (or even in the diet marketing craze), however, do not match the experimental design used in these studies, and the experimenal design is critical in obtaining the desired results. One of the researchers in this field, Dr. Mark Mattson, has even stated in his seminars that most of these "fads" have nothing to do with his studies.
It pisses me off when people take really good studies and distort them for media/marketing purposes.