Eating disorder Web sites not harmless

Dec 08, 2006

Pro-eating disorder Web sites claiming to help adolescents with eating disorders can do more harm than good, a California university study found.

The study, appearing in the December issue of Pediatrics, is the first to confirm that pro-eating disorder Web sites could promote dangerous behavior, Stanford University researchers said.

Nearly 50 percent of patients visiting such sites reported learning about new methods to lose weight or to purge, researchers said. Teens surveyed also were likely to have an eating disorder longer, spent less time on school work and more time online weekly than patients who said they did not visit pro-eating disorder sites.

Up to an estimated 1 percent of adolescent and adult women are diagnosed as anorexic, and another 1 percent to 2 percent are diagnosed as bulimic.

"If parents wouldn't let their kids go out to dinner or talk on the phone with someone they don't know, they should ask themselves what their child might be up to on the computer," Rebecka Peebles, co-author and medical school pediatrics instructor, said of the findings. "Parents and physicians need to realize that the Internet is essentially an unmonitored media forum."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Outcomes of lung transplantations since implementation of need-based allocation system

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Using Twitter to track flu, Lady Gaga

Jun 09, 2014

Interested in the number of tweets about the flu in recent days, weeks or months? Whether the tweets are positive or negative? How they are dispersed geographically down to the street level? Words commonly ...

Thai Facebook users get censorship scare

May 28, 2014

Thailand's new military rulers said that a sudden interruption of access to Facebook on Wednesday was not part of a censorship policy, but due instead to a technical hitch.

Social media abuzz about how to breed super queen bees

Feb 08, 2013

(Phys.org)—While honey bee populations dwindle across the globe, Penn State researchers aim to use communication technologies to spread revolutionary beekeeping techniques that will help offset the effects ...

3 Questions: Removing barriers to the Web

Oct 22, 2012

During the opening ceremonies of this summer's Olympic games in London, a musical performance culminated with a stage-set house rising into the rafters to reveal Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World ...

Recommended for you

Uganda on defensive over medical 'brain drain' uproar

10 hours ago

Uganda's government on Tuesday hit back at mounting criticism of plans to 'export' over 200 health workers to the Caribbean, insisting it was only seeking to regulate an existing labour market and prevent abuses.

Seth Mnookin on vaccination and public health

Mar 02, 2015

Seth Mnookin, an assistant professor of science writing and associate director of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing, is the author of "The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy" ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.