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Parents in the Dark about Pro-Eating Disorder Websites

Posted by Nirmala N.

In this day and age, you’d think more people would be responsible about the kind of information they disperse about eating disorders. However, according to experts, there are tons of pro-eating disorder websites encouraging teens to lose weight and cultivate some dangerous eating habits. According to Dr. Rebecka Peebles, at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University School of Medicine, most parents aren’t even aware that such websites exist and that their kids are frequent visitors. Peebles, who did a study on Internet use and eating disorder information, with her colleagues, dispersed questionnaires to 700 people who had been evaluated for an eating disorder, including 76 teenagers and 106 parents. About 41 percent of the patients had visited pro-eating disorder websites, where they learned dieting tips and purging techniques. Thirty-six percent had visited pro-recovery websites for eating disorders, but even these sites apparently harbored similar tips and techniques. A majority of parents (52 percent) had no idea their kids were visiting such sites, pointing to the necessity of Internet education among parents.
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