The RC Psych has called on UKCCIS to expand its definition of harmful web content to include pro-ana (anorexia) and pro-mia (bulimia) websites. A UKCCIS spokesman said: “We are working hard to ensure that vulnerable young people are signposted towards places where they can get help and support when accessing websites such as these.”
According to the RC Psych, the number of websites promoting eating disorders has soared with the growth of social networking. Professor Ulrike Schmidt, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, says: “Research shows that, even for healthy young women, viewing such websites induces low mood, low self-esteem and increased body dissatisfaction”.
Susan Ringwood from the eating disorder charity Beat welcomed the suggestions, but said: “We know that banning sites will not deal with the root causes of this challenging and misunderstood condition.”