The Rise of Cyberexia. How the Internet Has Impacted Eating Disorders

[...] Though most professionals agree that pro-ana and pro-mia Web sites and online groups are not the sole cause of eating disorders, many also say that the sites can promote unhealthy behaviors such as group fasting and hiding your eating disorder from your family. Already, a distorted body image is increasingly prevalent among adolescents and preadolescents. The International Journal of Eating Disorders recently reported that "42 percent of first through third grade girls want to be thinner." In this regard, pro-mia and pro-ana sites frequently are regarded by many health experts as potentially harmful, because many of the sites offer advice about low calorie recipes, tips on purging, reasons to be an anorexic or a bulimic person, celebrity "thinspiration" and compulsive exercise information - all of which could emphasize allegedly unhealthy behaviors.