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In the alternate reality of anorexia and bulimia, no thin is too thin, and control and perfection are codes for continued starvation.
Such content typically included “thinspiration” images of skinny models or celebrities (85 percent), and helpful guides for ana/mia behaviors (83 percent), including purging tips and the concealment of weight loss from loved ones.
“About a quarter of them conveyed what we regarded as very harmful messages,” Borzekowski says.
Borzekowski notes that the Web has now evolved so that proportionately fewer sites are under the authority of large, publicly minded service providers such as Yahoo, so a widespread shutdown even of the most militant pro-ana/mia sites is unlikely to happen.
Jane, a 24-year-old with a long history of Anorexia Nervosa dating back to her early teens.
Every week, as soon as she enters my office, she places the device on a chair right next to her, where it vibrates loudly every few minutes. We are still getting to know each other, so early on, I try to give her some leeway.
But after several distracting sessions, I ask her to put the phone away. She is in a relationship that centers around texting all day, and this alone has been a frequent cause of her anxiety, since she times the intervals between her boyfriend's texts and analyzes his wording.
It wasn't until a few months later, however, that Jane shares that it wasn't just her boyfriend's texts that kept her glued to her cell.Over the next few weeks I learn that her bathroom scale automatically transmits her weight to her i Phone, which also tracks her BMI and fat.While she restricts herself to safe foods—mostly low carb food, steamed white meat chicken, and no salt, sugar or butter—Jane sometimes sublimates her own ever-present hunger by cooking for others.“For almost any high-risk behavior nowadays there’s a website community,” says Dina Borzekowski, Ed D, Ed M, MA, an associate professor in Health, Behavior and Society.“There are websites for people who are into cutting behaviors or suicidal ideation.That sense of social validation can derive from the content too, Brotsky adds.