Wednesday, June 01, 2005

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.

11 Comments:

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous New Kid on the Hallway said...

Wow. That website is HORRIFYING! I'd heard about this movement, too, but can hardly believe that someone would post such ideas (like the 10 Ana Commandments) with a straight face! I'm terrified.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Psycho Kitty said...

Oh, how I would have loved this when I was 17 and puking my lunches up. This is some scary shit.

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger Psycho Kitty said...

Sigh. I took a look at it. That is so sad. I cannot say how freaking lucky I feel to have recovered from that.

 
At 12:55 AM, Blogger muse said...

There was a famous/popular site on this on Livejournal (giving tips on how to starve yourself and such), so several months ago I reported it to LJ, and a snotty LJ rep basically called me a censoring fascist, saying that there is freedom of expression in this (US) country, etc.

Thanks a lot. I know first-hand how these sites and magazine articles on anorexia/bulimia are harmful, because my own sister has told me that she sought tips on how to puke/starve herself better in those resources.

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

If I put up a site telling children how to use a gun to kill themselves-- how to load it, put it in their mouth (tilting it at the appropriate angle of course), and how to pull the trigger--I wonder how LJ would feel.

If I then went and offered the kids who came to my site a group of peers, of friends, who share the same desire to kill themselves, I wonder what would happen.

If I then gave them pictures on how to do it and offered them secret codes, decrees, and mantras related to our "organization", I wonder how that would go over.

These sites are no different. Just because the death is slower, more painful and prolonged than pumping a bullet into your brain, doesn't make it different in concept.

I do not believe that freedom of expression was designed so that one could take vulnerable people and brainwash them into killing themselves.

Where are these people when you reach up to push your hair out of your face only to find a large chunk of it stuck to your hand? Where are they when little girls suffer renal failure, permanent brain damage, and muscular cramping so intense they can't stop screaming?

I firmly believe that freedom of speech was not meant to trump accountability.

I am now getting off of my soapbox.

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger muse said...

Yeah, I hear you! I especially "liked" (not!) the parting comment of the rep: if some people find this offensive, they can simply choose not to look at the site.

ARGH!

It's not me that I'm worried about, it's the girls who actually really like this and fall for the hype, dammit!

Anyway. I'd forgotten that this was a reason why I chose Blogger instead of LJ, your post reminded me of this! :)

 
At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Les you are just like some protagonizing hipocrit. You spore of pig pulp. Yeah creep hide behind your sconce. Your science fiction sucks. With your old out of date beard. You ignorant twit. You udder of cow looking nut case. Do you ululate at night? You are the definition of all umbrage.You may need Valium. Your lunitic followers must be servile to your lunacy. Your dim witt comments are bewildering and uneducating. What type of theogony do you study?Do you have some stigma.You nonchalant pig. You need psychotherapy. You obese zombie. Your words are objectionable to any real logic. Why dont you just... disappear into some lost and forgotten oasis you creature of the pale moon light.How dare you speculate on me.is ugly your cornerstone? You out of the reality of conscious thinking pegan. Maybe you are world renounced and rebuked. You repulsive monster. You have some nerve. Symmetry is obviously not you major. You symbolize evil to the core. Your mind needs replenishing.How dare you taint the web this way. You tacky looking swine. You have mortified yourself enough. Your blog is a big dumb hoax of madness and confusion. Stoic to any opposition huh? You numb headed fake poop talking pegan. You procure prodigal nothing at all interesting to weman idiot.You seem over zealous and dumb found by life itself in theory. All of you brain washed followers are mismanaged by your gossip.You presuppose things like a bumbling fool. Hello you idiot come back to planet earth you scumbag. My comments may be considered a technical foul on some websites. But never under estamate. Yes i said it and will state it over and over again. Ha Ha Ha! you ugly wize ass pachyderm. Get a shrink before your ego deflates and get a clue on reality Les Jenkins (Stupid Evil Bastard).

 
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