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  • Results 1 to 14 of 14

    1. #1
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      'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      My boyfriend's started following various 'healthy weight-loss' blogs recently to try and lose some weight, so out of curiosity I decided to check some of them out and some of the content they're sharing is quite shocking. These groups seem to pride themselves on promoting healthy eating and positive attitude towards body image, but there's an awful lot of quintessentially anorexic psychological behaviour that's being blogged to thousands (e.g. the encouragement of choosing extreme working out over social activities, implications that the thinner you are the more healthy you are, using pictures of girls that look unhealthily underweight as encouragement for weightloss). Now I know I'm not really one to preach about healthy height and weight averages, being on the very cusp of acceptable healthy weight myself (5'6" and UK size 8/10, US size 4/6), but even I am shocked by some of the images circulating around these sites:






      Images taken from here.


      I don't know about you, but when I think of 'healthy weightloss' these are definitely not the kind of images that come to mind. If I had a son, daughter, friend or relative just starting to become self-conscious of their image and wanting to lose weight and/or become healthier I certainly wouldn't want them using these kinds of sites to do it.

      When it comes to health versus body image, how far is too far? Is there even a 'too far', or do you think that it's a persons right to push their body to its limits even if it's unhealthy?
       

    2. #2
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      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      this kind of stuff annoys the hell out of me. fashion and the media essentially have the power to dictate the way millions of people perceive their bodies and yet the vast majority sets a standard that makes people who have a healthy B.M.I and lifestyle think they're fat. I think everybody should make a healthy lifestyle a priority (even though i suck at it myself)




    3. #3

      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      I don't know, I can see where you're coming from on the first two (or at least the first; the second one seems more like a way-too-young girl than an overly thin one to me), but I'm really not seeing what the issue is with the third girl. She's in workout clothes, and is clearly perspiring and breathing hard. It doesn't suggest starving yourself to get thinner. It suggests hitting the gym for strenuous exercise.
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    4. #4
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      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      The issue I have with the third one is more the slogan. Considering some of the most common psychological signs of anorexia are an obsessive desire to have complete control over ones body, a warped sense of body image and the compulsive need to physically push ones body to dangerous levels, having a stick-thin girl with the slogan "I'm making myself strong" is doing nothing but encouraging quintessential anorexic behaviour in my opinion. Regular extreme work-out sessions are a classic sign of anorexia, and the third picture seems to condone 'making yourself strong' but obsessively working out.
       

    5. #5

      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      I can't really see how "making [yourself] strong" in the context its presented in could possibly refer to anything but hitting the gym.

      She doesn't look super-thin to me, she looks like an athlete. She's easily 20 pounds heavier than the first girl.

      For clarification: what is acceptable weight for you, for say, 5'4'', until you hit anorexia? Give me a general range here, so I can understand where you're coming from.
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    6. #6
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      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      For the 3rd one, I do have issues (but less than the other ones). When I saw the slogan, it didn't make me think "I want to be fit like her", I thought "I'm a bad person for not being ridiculously skinny and fit". (That second one was an exaggeration, but I couldn't think how to rationalise it.)

      As far as I'm concerned, I am overweight. However I wouldn't say that I'm unhealthy, as I do lots of sport. As much as I'd like to lose weight, I'm comfortable in the fact that I am fit enough too.
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    7. #7
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      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      Quote Originally Posted by Clockwork View Post
      I can't really see how "making [yourself] strong" in the context its presented in could possibly refer to anything but hitting the gym.

      She doesn't look super-thin to me, she looks like an athlete. She's easily 20 pounds heavier than the first girl.

      For clarification: what is acceptable weight for you, for say, 5'4'', until you hit anorexia? Give me a general range here, so I can understand where you're coming from.
      My point is that there are strong ties between anorexia and obsessively working out. As a stand-alone picture I'd probably see it and have no issue with it, but when mixed in with imagery like the first picture a slogan can become a powerful thing. When I see the third picture in this context I imagine a malnourished young person starving themself and working out five hours a day and still pushing their body harder, condoning the behaviour by telling themself that they're "making themself strong".

      Considering that anorexia is a mental condition that has physical ramifications on the body as opposed to being a physical condition, that's quite a hard question to answer. I'd say 7 stone and under is probably when weight should be considered a problem for someone who's 5'4", but that's not to say that everyone who is underweight is suffering from anorexia.
       

    8. #8
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      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      I can definitely see your point with the first one, the words alone tell you that she's desperate for approval, definitely a psychological issue.
      She's also young, which concerns me more as it's usually young girls who are influenced most by such things as "Thin equals beautiful".

      Unfortunately, we are shown this day after day, telling us that in order to be healthy, we have to be sticks, and a lot of people develop eating disorders through this.

      I can see where Clockwork is coming from with the third, she looks more healthy than the other two, but it's also true that a characteristic of eating disorders is over exercising.

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    9. #9
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      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      I would just like to point out the fact that "being healthy or fit" for me does not only mean being thin like sticks or huge like a pumpkin.If a person can climb a fleat of stairs without any huff and puff be it if a person is thin or fat then he/she is healthy enough.There are people who want to lose weight because of the size zero fashion in which their health becomes a grave concern as potrayed in the first two images and then there are people who are obese in a way that they have respiratory problems etc.There's a very thin line that differentiates between Being healthy/fit and being unhealthy/unfit.It's very important to know Your body structure and your health to keep the balance going and think What's best for you.
       

    10. #10

      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      I'm a little confused here. Besides the pictures, can you give examples of these blogs promoting anorexia?

      The only blog you linked here for reference is the one with the pictures, and I went through that site and alongside those pictures are tons of pictures of food, exercise tips, motivational posters, healthy eating tips...I see nothing here that promotes an unhealthy lifestyle, except from your interpretation of some pictures of a couple of girls you've deemed too skinny.

      You said there is encouragement of choosing extreme working out over social activities. This hardly promotes an unhealthy lifestyle. If being physically fit is your goal, then sacrifices have to be made all around - especially for people who are dangerously overweight.

      I'd just like to know where you're coming from when you say that blogs are promoting anorexia(besides your opinion of the photos).
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    11. #11

      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      Quote Originally Posted by Tioma View Post
      My point is that there are strong ties between anorexia and obsessively working out.
      Is that actually true? Genuine question, since I don't know very much about anorexia. I was under the impression that the crux of anorexia was avoiding eating. And once a person reaches the so-thin-you-can-see-their-ribs-on-the-front-of-their-chest level, they wouldn't have enough stamina for sustained workouts, right?

      Quote Originally Posted by Tioma View Post
      As a stand-alone picture I'd probably see it and have no issue with it, but when mixed in with imagery like the first picture a slogan can become a powerful thing.
      I can see how this might worry you in conjunction with specific other images. From what little I know about anorexia, many who suffer from the condition tend to see their aversion toward eating as a manifestation of inner strength (i.e. being strong enough to resist food).

      I wonder if these blogs "promote anorexia" to men as well/much as women. There are some very different body image concerns that the two populations face, and while you mentioned your boyfriend reading these blogs, the images you focused on were all of women.
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    12. #12

      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      When I see the third picture in this context I imagine a malnourished young person starving themself and working out five hours a day and still pushing their body harder, condoning the behaviour by telling themself that they're "making themself strong".
      You can't do that if you're starving yourself though. Your body needs a lot of carbohydrates and electrolytes in order to do a five hour workout. Its not possible if you're persistantly starving yourself. You'll faint.


      I get that you think this girl is maybe too thin, but if we think she's healthy, why does it matter?
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    13. #13
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      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      Quote Originally Posted by Cherry Swirlz View Post
      I'm a little confused here. Besides the pictures, can you give examples of these blogs promoting anorexia?
      There are a surprising amount of blogs around that actively promote anorexia as a lifestyle choice to stay slim.

      http://proanalifestyle.blogspot.com/...-with-ana.html
      http://youhavetoeatlesstoweighless.t...com/ProAnaTips
      http://day-by-day87tips.tumblr.com/

      Quote Originally Posted by mani View Post
      Is that actually true? Genuine question, since I don't know very much about anorexia. I was under the impression that the crux of anorexia was avoiding eating. And once a person reaches the so-thin-you-can-see-their-ribs-on-the-front-of-their-chest level, they wouldn't have enough stamina for sustained workouts, right?
      There are two reasons why working out too much is common among anorexics; control and guilt.

      One of the main accepted causes of anorexia is a desire to control ones body. Obsessively controlling what one eats and working out to try and stay thin become routine. There's also the guilt/reward factor - eat more than one grape and feel incredibly guilty, do twenty extra sit-ups to work off that extra grape and feel rewarded. See here and here for more information.

      Although compulsive exercising doesn't have to accompany an eating disorder, the two often go hand in hand. In anorexia nervosa, the excessive workouts usually begin as a means to control weight and become more and more extreme. As the rate of activity increases, the amount the person eats might decrease.
      Quote Originally Posted by mani View Post
      I wonder if these blogs "promote anorexia" to men as well/much as women. There are some very different body image concerns that the two populations face, and while you mentioned your boyfriend reading these blogs, the images you focused on were all of women.
      I think that though a lot of the things that can cause a warped body image (such as incredibly thin people in the media, 'size 0' models, etc.) are generally aimed at females, it's still a very real danger for males as well. It's no secret that women are generally under more pressure now to be thin and beautiful than they were a few decades ago, but I think people tend to overlook the fact that men can feel just as pressured to look good when surrounded by images of tanned, muscular guys modelling the latest Armani watch or suit on billboards.

      Quote Originally Posted by Clockwork View Post
      You can't do that if you're starving yourself though. Your body needs a lot of carbohydrates and electrolytes in order to do a five hour workout. Its not possible if you're persistantly starving yourself. You'll faint.


      I get that you think this girl is maybe too thin, but if we think she's healthy, why does it matter?
      Five hours was a quick estimate off the top of my head, I'm not using it as a cited figure for everyone. But yes, the regular working out and lack of food is very dangerous for the body. That's kinda why it's a psychological disorder and not a plan for healthy living.
      If you think the girl looks healthy then that's fair enough. My aim was to discuss the impact of the Internet and media on peoples psyche, not the health of one girl on one picture. Though if I were to take that picture to my gym, I'm pretty sure I'd find no-one who'd think that she was strong in any way.
       

    14. #14

      Re: 'Healthy weight-loss' blogs promoting anorexia?

      Anyone who thinks anorexia is healthy should talk to Karen Carpenter.

      They'll have to become a spirit medium or a fucking necromancer, because it killed her
       

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