Eating Disorders are a Mental Illness

1431 Words Jul 10th, 2018 6 Pages
Eating disorders are mental illnesses that involve an obsession with food, extremely unhealthy eating behaviors and a distorted body image. They are complicated, serious disorders. The group that eating disorders affects the most are typically girls through the ages of sixteen and twenty years old. Although teenage eating disorders are typically believed to be caused by depression or genetic factors, social media has worsened the problem by the huge increase in peer pressure girls endure due to the widespread use of sites such as Twitter and Instagram. Eating disorders are real, complex and devastating conditions that can have serious consequences for health, productivity and relationships. The two most common …show more content…
When social media and the internet became a big thing, all different online weight groups began to develop. Some of these groups became known as Pro-Ana, Pro-Mia and Pro-ED, which are short for Pro-Anorexia, Pro-Bulimia and Pro-Eating Disorders (Wanchisn 1). These terms are used to describe online websites where eating disorder behaviors and attitudes are encouraged greatly. On these sites, users are encouraged to lose weight to be part of that exclusive online community. Some initially appear friendly and happy. However, they can pose a serious threat to some individuals, not simply because they promote eating disorder behaviors, but because they build a community that is unhealthy and unstable. They persuade young girls that the Pro-Ana community is providing caring and nurturing advice, however it is really creating an unhealthy environment (Wanchisn 3). Now Pro-Ana content appears in more places and in more formats, such as blogs and social networking websites. It’s also increasingly more difficult to detect Pro-Ana sites. Many are disguised as positive websites where people motivate each other lose weight together and the anorexic theme is hidden behind nice comments. They come together behind the theme of “thinspiration,” giving out their own tips and tricks to lose excessive weight. In June 2010, researchers from Johns Hopkins studied the content of 180 sites they discovered
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