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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Pro-anorexia sites: Parents' heads-up

They're community sites, often run by anorexics themselves, in which participants encourage each other to "stay strong" and stick with often false and dangerous weight-loss practices, the BBC reports. Many of the sites offer "advice and handy hints to users to enable them to dupe their [doctors]." Some help participants pair up - meet a "buddy" who can keep them focused on "their quest for the body 'beautiful'" and fend off therapists and others whose aim it is just to "make us fat," according to what experts say about the paranoid mentality expressed in many pro-anorexia sites. Parents may also want to know that a lot of these sites are underground - password-protected - so they can't be found and shut down. UK-based "online counsellor" Greg Mulhauser reports that "there is a growing quantity of material that is pro anorexia on Xanga" in particular. is a blog community popular among teens. For more on Xanga, see "Xanga and other hangouts" and "Teens' blog life."


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