More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Spanish health authority bans website promoting anorexia

MADRID, Jan 10, 2007 (AFP) - Spanish authorities have banned an internet site which was about to run a competition for young women suffering from anorexia, a regional health spokesman said Tuesday.

"This kind of thing is just not acceptable," a spokesman for the Madrid health and consumer department told AFP, while a statement by the authority condemned a scheme which it viewed as "posing a health threat, above all for those suffering a food-related disorder."

After being alerted by police to the competition on the Porcelain Princesses ( website the health authority threatened legal action, prompting the site to suspend its services.

Aware that recent studies say some 100,000 young women in Spain are anorexia sufferers, Spain has cracked down on the problem.

Last September, Madrid's prestigious Pasarela Cibeles fashion show banned five models from participating because they did not meet World Health Organisation (WHO) weight guidelines saying that a body mass index of less than 18 (56 kilograms for 1.75 meters or 123 pounds for five feet eight inches) is unhealthy.

The competition, which would have run for a fortnight from January 13, offered points to those reducing their calorie intake to a minimum, with starvation rations of 50-150 calories a day worth nine points while "the honour of a podium placing" and a maximum ten points was offered for not eating all day.

Prior to its closure the website said in a disclaimer it advised visitors to "not follow" advice they might read there.

Following the furore, the site is currently down, save for a message advising that "princesasdeporcelana has been suspended."


This is good but it is such a small drop in the bucket. The site will reopen within a day or two on a new server. Chances are most of these girls frequent a handful of pro-ana sites, and shutting one down won't phase them. This is already an "underground" movement... there are many many sites that have been shut down before and cannot be accessed through search engines, etc. There's some that you can't get into unless you "know the way" and I'm not computer savy enough to get into them but I know very well that others are.
Yet this is one battle fought, a victory. A public statement against these sites is one of the things that needs to happen. It is a step towards changing the mindset of society, and hopefully this situation will make more people aware of what is going on in these sites. Perhaps the next generation will see enough of these bannings to keep them from so easily embracing this movement.
This is very much my soapbox but also a personal battle for me. I struggle daily with not going back, and the eating disorder still rules my life. I think that when I see something like this, it is a victory, but I am so steeped in negativity that the hopelessness I see in my own life right now turns into the hopelessness I feel in the battle against this movement.
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