Pro-Anorexia Websites ruining lives

January 9, 2014 2:26 PM

MP for Cheadle, Mark Hunter, has spoken out against Pro-Anorexia websites in a televised interview with former anorexia sufferer, Emma Woolf.

Pro-Anorexia websites advocate anorexia as a life style choice. They contain advice on how to maintain anorexic behaviours and provide encouragement for the continuation of sufferers' eating disorders. Parents of eating disorder sufferers often have a limited awareness of pro-anorexia sites and child's use of such sites

Mark first became interested in the issue after he visited an Eating Disorder Unit based in his constituency where he met with a number of the young sufferers who were being treated. Following the visit Mark tabled a motion calling for a parliamentary debate, asked a number of questions to the government, and has encouraged greater self regulation by internet service providers.

Commenting after the interview, Mark said:

'Pro-Anorexia and Pro-Bulimia websites target vulnerable, young women in a particularly unpleasant and manipulative way. While an out-right ban is difficult due to many of the websites being American-based and often run by vulnerable people themselves, this does not mean the Government should do nothing.

'I am pleased by the action taken by consecutive governments to try and make the internet a safer place for our young people, and my Lib Dem colleagues Lynne Featherstone MP and Jo Swinson MP have done some great work on Body Confidence.

'To reduce the risk of eating disorders requires a combined effort on many fronts; I sincerely hope that this programme will contribute to raising awareness of these websites and the role they play in undermining some of our young people's body image.'

Mark's interview with Emma will be featured in Channel 4's Supersize vs Superskinny on Thursday 9th January, at 8pm.

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