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Pro Ana Versus Pro Recovery Sites: New Study by Johns Hopkins and Stanford University raises concerns.

Pro Ana websites are popular, enticing and potentially deadly to young women. They promote thinness at all costs and often disregard health, well being and common sense. The June 17th issue of American Journal of Public Health published a recent study of Pro Ana websites. This innovative study conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Stanford University School of Medicine, has raised questions about how we can meet the needs of these Pro Ana website visitors in healthier ways. It is important that Pro Recovery sites are supported and promoted by leaders and those influential to young woman. Professors, Teachers, Coaches, Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Parents and Therapists all can help offset the pro ana movement by supporting organizations that emphasize health and self esteem over thinness. It may save a life.

(PRWEB) June 22, 2010 -- A recent study of Pro Ana websites, published in the June 17th issue of American Journal of Public Health, shed some light on why young women are drawn to these sites and what they find there. This illuminating study has created a flurry of discussion and concern in the public.

Pro Ana websites are prolific across the internet. These sites provide tips, advice and encouragement to women on how to become thinner, emaciated or practice anorexia nervosa. Dramatic calorie restriction, fasting, excessive exercise, purging, laxatives and other unhealthy behaviors are often glorified as a magic key to achieving the media glorified waif look that has so deeply influenced women today. Eating disorder treatment is not advised or suggested. Thus, in most cases, these Pro Anorexia websites are promoting a deadly lifestyle and self destruction.

"These Pro Ana sites provide a sense of camaraderie and collaboration among the website visitors. These sites also can create a sense of pursuing a more perfect version of the self, or at least the body" commented Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC, and Director of Eating Disorder Hope. Sadly, the Pro Ana sites are focused on thinness as a status symbol and promise increased confidence and power in the world if one can just become thin enough.

Fortunately, there are Pro Recovery sites that refute these claims and encourage visitors to find a sense of inner value, self esteem and worth in the content of the character - rather than the external image of the individual. Sites such as Eating Disorder Hope promote healthy self care, embracing life and pursuing recovery. This site's mission is to foster appreciation of one's uniqueness and value in the world, unrelated to appearance, achievement or applause.

Eating Disorder Hope and other recovery websites, provide treatment resources such as a Treatment Directory and a Specialist Library. These provide sufferers from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and compulsive overeating with contacts to professionals who can treat the destructive condition and the underlying issues that led to this maladaptive behavior.

Recovery Tools are provided and explained to offer practical suggestions for developing a healthier lifestyle and self esteem. Tools are given, such as nutrition tips, mindfulness skills, spirituality, improving rational thinking, body image improvement advice and relapse prevention techniques.

Resources are also provided that direct the individual to articles on recovery, inspirational real stories of recovered women, pro recovery newsletters and blogs, support groups, and excellent non profit organizations that support eating disorder awareness and prevention.

If you know of a woman suffering from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder or seemingly becoming far too preoccupied with weight, eating and diet - Please, seek help for them. A good starting point may be to refer them to a resource such as Eating Disorder Hope where they can find eating disorder treatment referrals, recovery tips and resources, and most of all, inspiration to choose a full and meaningful life over the empty existence of anorexia and other related conditions.

Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC is Director and Founder of Eating Disorder Hope. Eating Disorder Hope is the one stop eating disorder treatment, resource and information site. Eating Disorder Hope promotes ending eating disordered behavior, embracing life and pursuing recovery through implementing the best eating disorder treatment available for the individual with anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating disorder.


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