Web sites that promote anorexia and bulimia are becoming more popular.
Researchers in the journal Pediatrics this month investigated the awareness and usage of “pro-eating disorder” websites among adolescents and parents. Results showed pro-eating disorder site usage was common among adolescents with eating disorders, yet parents had little knowledge of this. While visiting pro-eating disorder sites, 96 percent of the respondents reported learning new weight loss or purging techniques. Of the sites investigated in the study, “most share similar content, including "thinspiration" (images of thin and cachectic women), poetry, weight-loss advice, methods for avoiding detection by family and health care providers, forums, merchandise, and links to other, related sites.” The study discusses pro-recovery sites which also appear to be commonly used.
This is interesting. Before I went to medical school I worked on a adolescent psychiatric unit that treated children with anorexia nervosa. Back then the tricks of losing weight were passed along quietly in the girl's room. Social networks were limited a girl’s immediate environment. Now it seems, Google’s the limit.