Online trend promoting eating disorders must stop


Mira Aboutaam, Ad Manager/Staff Writer

Many high school students develop eating disorders each year because the pro anorexia (ana) and bulimia (mia) communities promote the diseases as healthy lifestyles.

The rapid rise of followers on pro–ana  and pro-mia websites is alarming. These websites are glorifying eating disorders and are creating a negative impact on thousands of people.

This movement is causing much more harm than good. Some people “stumble” upon these websites and begin to believe that it is viable lifestyle.

Pro ana/mia sites portray anorexia and bulimia as lifestyle choices instead of eating disorders. They are all over social media on sites such as Tumblr and Twitter, and they have created their own forums and websites dedicated to the “lifestyles.”

The people posting on these sites reinforce an unrealistic image of “The Perfect Body.” Search pro ana or pro mia on Tumblr and about 7 million posts will show up, including  images of eating schedules and extremely thin models. These models are usually referred to as “thinspo” (thinspiration – the person others should want to look like).

Some sites promote how “amazing” being skinny is while other sites are for those who already have eating disorders and don’t want to recover. Some websites even explain how to hide an eating disorder from friends and family.

Hundreds of people go to these websites and support one another to fast for days by consuming only water, gum and an occasional mint.

These websites also support extreme workouts and aiming for a negative intake of calories each day. Pro ana and mia websites encourage a maximum daily intake of 500 calories coupled with losing more calories than consumed to achieve a negative intake.

These mental disorders are not supposed to be a choice.  Most people don’t choose to be anorexic or bulimic, but the pro ana and mia sites make it seem like anorexia and bulimia are choices, not diseases.

Many Americans suffer from some sort of eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. According to , 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point.

The pro ana and mia sites need to be shut down because they are negatively impacting many people’s lives.