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Many parents don’t know about the so called pro-Ana (pro-anorexia) web sites, which suggest that one can't be too thin is a lifestyle choice, not an eating disorder and worst of all give tips on extreme weight loss and purging and offer support for anorexia sufferers.

On such sights, young people could even find information on how to avoid being caught by their parents and have an opportunity to share tips. Even if some of the parents did find out about the sites, few of them would actually sit down and talk to their children.

Health experts wanted to find out how many parents and children knew about these sites and had communications about it. They decided to survey families whose children aged 10-22 were treated at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

Out of 700 surveys they send, only about 10o parents and 80 patients completed them.
The survey revealed that:
• 35.5% of patients visited pro-eating-disorder web sites.
• 41% of patients visited pro-recovery web sites.
• 48.7% of patients never visited either a pro-eating-disorder or pro-recovery web site.
• 96% of patients who visited pro-eating-disorder web sites learned new techniques of harmful behavior.
• 46.4% of patients who visited pro-recovery web sites learned new techniques of harmful behavior.
• Slightly more than half the parents (52.8%) knew about pro-eating-disorder web sites.
• More than half the parents didn't know whether their teen had visited pro-eating-disorder web sites.
• Only 27.6% of parents discussed pro-eating-disorder web sites with their child.

Although pro-recovery sites underline that eating disorders are life-threatening problems and necessity of treatment, they also enable patients to share harmful weight loss or purging techniques.
It is obvious that there is a need for parental education and awareness rising about the children’s’ activities and pro-Ana sites.


I have had an eatting disorder for the past 10 years and the Pro-Ana is the worst website out there. I have just finished treatment and everything that is listend on the website is not true instead this website is teaching its users how to kill one another


There is a total misconception about pro ana websites. Although there are some stupid sites that are run by idiots that do encourage young girls to become anorexic some. Most genuine pro ana sites are there to let members support each other, not support their eating disorders. I am a member of many of them, and they do not tolerate people coming in and asking for tips on how to 'become anorexic', they instead clearly explain the dangers of anorexia and why its not something that u can 'catch' or just 'get'. Many members of pro ana websites leave in time to go into recovery, and these decisions are always welcomed and encouraged by fellow members, because they themselves know the dangers of anorexia and they all want to in time recover too. Pro ana sites provide a safe place for people going through the same thing to come together to get things off their chest and to talk to each other about things because they know that there are others who understand.

I just hope that some people will take the time to understand that not all pro ana websites are negative and not all encourage eating disorders. Some are there just to genuinly support its members.


I disagree 100%. If I had not found pro ana websites back when I was tinkering with how to lose weight, I would have never gotten into the mess of an eating disorder I have today. And the ones I joined were the communities who "supported" each other. We had chat rooms on yahoo and buddy lists and support groups to keep the addiction going. There was no tips. We knew what we were doing. But we did encourage each other. I'd have never thought to take a laxative had I never read it online on a pro-ana website and I hate them all for it. I have hemmeroids now and I'm 26 years old. I have osteopenia now and I gained back everything I ever lost and had to relose every single pound I gained the "right" way through subjecting myself to rehab. Was rehab worth it? HELL YA! But those websites really pull people in with all that "let's support each other" b.s. You're in complete denial if you honestly think you aren't killing each other. Go to somethingfishy if you want support. Being "Pro" for your eating disorder isn't supportive, it's dangerous and if you want to die, don't take out a million other innocent girls with you because that is what you are doing.

You're brainwashed. And it's your eating disorder that's doing all the talking.

You're basically saying that sites that promote suicide are okay. Because that's what you are doing. Go ahead, get mad I said it. It's true though. You're slowly commiting suicide to your body and you refuse to get help for it. It kills your internal organs, your cells, your brain etc until you become a living vegetable. You think ketones are good to have? Do you know what ketones even are? Yah, I'm sure you do. You're an expert right. A true perfectionist. Professional at what you do. Ani-difranco lover. I know you. I know all about you down to the core. You look in the mirror and say boohoo I hate my life, I'm going to starve (in more or less words) so you do, then you start feeling good from it. You feel like finally you have some control in your life. Some control from all the chaotic mess you can't deal with. It becomes a coping mechanism. You get so addicted to your brainwashed disease that you have to find others like you, people who understand, people who wont make fun of you. So you create these chat rooms, websites, forums etc. "Fake families" and go talk about how many calories you ate today and how bad you feel because you binged on an apple. You see them as your therapists. But you don't realize it. And it's sad because none of them will remember you when you're gone. None of them will know you in real life. None of them are your friends. Let's face it, they are there to use you until they are ready to recover, if they do. You're all sick in your disease and you'll either stay there until you die or get help. But the ones who are REALLY in recovery, DON'T go to those websites. The ones who have recovered, push their triggers away. Remember that.

You need some counceling and help. I'm sorry to have been so blunt and mean to you if you have taken it that way, but I feel really passionately about this, probably as passionately as you do about your eating disorder sites being "alive and pro-active". I wish you well in your path and hope one day you start towards recovery. You'll lead a much better, healthier, clearer and happier life and see that not e verything revolves around weight and the scale. Even though we live in a very vain world where looks seem to be everything, you can be successful and you can make a life for yourself without having to starve yourself to be somebody. It took me 4 years of hell to realize that.


I completely agree with everything you said except one thing. How does liking Ani DiFranco made you pro-ana? I'm completely (or as completely as one can be) recovered from an eating disorder, and Ani DiFrancos music helped..


I think anamiakills is missing the point. First of all, there is a misconception that Pro-Ana websites are purposefully trying to make girls sick, like a bunch of strange predators hunting for teen girls to kill. Whether you're looking at "lifestyle" pro-ana sites or regular pro-ana sites, this is simply not the case. They're just people looking for some stability and trying to understand themselves, even though sometimes they may be doing it in a harmful, confused way.

The non-lifestyle Pro-Anas are nothing like you describe.

Secondly, anamiakills, you didn't get an eating disorder from Pro-Ana, just like you didn't get it from your parents or the media. The latest science states that the origin of eating disorders is genetic. You're born with a "gun" - a predisposition for harm avoidance. Then something "loads the gun", like being picked on at school, or learning poor eating habits from parents. Then something "pulls the trigger", and that's when your eating disorder starts. It could be anything from simply deciding to crash-diet, to something traumatic like abuse.

Perhaps you getting into pro-ana websties was what pulled your trigger, but they didn't "cause" your eating disorder. If it wasn't that, it could have been something else. You might have sought destructive habits elsewhere, like a lot of people do.

Don't blame a bunch of innocent (and often confused) young girls for your problems.