Websites Sell Bracelets Promoting Anorexia

(WREG-TV) A simple red bracelet may seem harmless enough, but the message some associate with it is very disturbing – some groups online are using the jewelry to promote anorexia.

Pro ana is used to describe people who actually want to live with anorexia.

There is an entire community of people who say they choose to have an eating disorder and have no intentions of stopping.

Some websites post “tips” for those with anorexia, such as hitting yourself in the stomach if you get hunger pains or counting to 100 to distract yourself from eating.

A website called My Pro Ana started selling bracelets so people with anorexia can easily identify and support one another in their fasting.

The jewelry is already sold out.

It is a frightening trend that has organizations like the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders, or ANAD, speaking out.

Executive Director for ANAD Laura Discipio told WREG, “I am very saddened by this unfortunate misuse of something as simplistic as a bracelet.”

Discipio said it is important to note that plenty of groups and organizations use eating disorder bracelets, even red ones like these, to send positive messages.

“ANAD has bracelets that say, ‘Wellness not Weighed,’ or, ‘Accept Yourself; Accept Others,'” she pointed out.

Anorexia primarily affects adolescents.

“They look at themselves in a mirror, and they don’t see what you and I see,” Discipio said of people suffering from eating disorders.

Registered dietician Molly Goggans said there are steps to decrease someone’s risk of developing an eating disorder later in life.

“Parents should be mindful of whether they’re setting a good example for their children, showing that healthy eating is a balance of nutrients.”

WREG reached out to several pro ana websites, including My Pro Ana, the site selling the bracelets, for comment.

We even offered to let them stay anonymous, but no one responded to our requests.

3 comments

  • Andrea

    This article is stupid, have you even been to My Pro Ana? There are threads dedicated to those who wish to seek out recovery and get help. MPA is a website for those of us struggling with an eating disorder, or perhaps another type of mental illness, to go to for support. What’s so bad about having a place to go where people actually understand what you’re going through rather than therapists and angry family members who don’t get it?

    it’s not “pro” as in “we support your disease.” It’s “pro” as in “we support you because we know what you’re going through.”

    Why do you feel the need to twist something to simple into something horrible and taboo? I have met some absolutely amazing and inspiring people on that website that in no way have triggered me to “promote” my eating disorder.

    And i’m pretty sure those bracelets are symbol of support for the sufferer, the same as supporting the fight against cancer or fighting violence against women. Sure some might try it as a crash diet. But we all know that anyone actually going through that isn’t going to be viewing it that way. Why twist that?
    And wouldn’t the profits be going to the site? supporting those who are looking after the sufferers?
    This looks like another attempt to pull down people who have nowhere else to go.

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