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Pro-Anorexia Movement

Internet Support Groups Feed Eating Disorders

A new type of negative social support group whose members embrace anorexia as a choice rather than acknowledging it as an illness has emerged on the web, say researchers from the U of Cincinnati who report on the Online Negative Enabling Support Group in the journal New Media & Society. The ONESG pro-anorexia movement advises members on dieting and dealing with confrontations from family members and friends and fosters intimacy among members who bond over confessions of unhealthy behaviors and self-loathing. Researchers gathered data from public access websites from October 2006 to May 2007. (Many sites are private and inaccessible to non-members.) Researchers say that understanding ONESG may serve as a useful tool to break down obstacles to life-saving therapies.

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