Pro anorexia sites have begun selling merchandise to people with eating disorders. The new pro-ana items, which include bracelets and diet pills are being marketed to eating disorder sufferers despite objection from doctors, ED specialists and the media.
Many in the ED community are furious over this new move by pro-ana sites. This is because the sites are no longer content with encouraging a dangerous eating disorder, they are not intent on making money off of vulnerable people who are dealing with a serious mental illness.
Chris Cordell, the Hospital Director at Life Works Community, said, “The pro-anorexia sites selling these products are ignoring their ethical and moral responsibilities and encouraging a mental illness to grow in already vulnerable people.”
Worse still, these sites are selling diet pills as anorexia in a bottle. Legitimate diet companies sell similar pills but these come with health warnings and are sold to be part of a healthy diet and weight loss routine. The pro-ana sites simply bill the pills as a way to supress hunger pains. This ignores side effects and any dangers of possible abuse.
By offering merchandise, these pro-ED sites are also encouraging members to regard the site as a healthy community. This means they will go back for advice, affirmation and support. This would be alright if it were not for the fact that pro-ED sites are encouraging some of the most deadly mental illnesses known to man.
Cordell compared the actions of the pro-ED sites to, “A group of heroin addicts starting a club to sell and encourage the use of legal opioids to other addicts.”
While there is nothing illegal about the pro-ana sites selling merchandise, their actions may still cost them. A number of sites have already taken action against pro-eating disorder sites. This includes Pinterest and Tumblr. If Google or another large company were to take action against them, the sites could disappear from the searchable web very quickly.
To learn more about eating disorders, Check out the Life Works Knowledge Centre.