Refers to a sub-culture of individuals, mainly on-line, who believe that being anorexic is a lifestyle choice rather then an eating disorder/illness that requires treatment. The term is often shortened to "ana". There are various online organizations that differ in their stances but most maintain that they exist to provide a safe and non-judgmental environment for individuals with anorexia to turn in order to discuss their illness, situation, and support those that chose to leave and seek recovery. Some deny that eating disorders are illnesses and discourage individuals from seeking treatment, provide tips and strategies on how to hide the symptoms, alter weight or engage in symptoms, i.e. tricks for avoiding eating around family members, ways to alter your weight at doctors appointments, how to dress to hide weight loss, etc. There are many dangers associated with individuals with eating disorders going to such sites or being involved in such organizations:
  • they normalize the illness leading to minimization of symptoms/consequences,
  • negative influences are present that teach individuals who are already sick and vulnerable new "tricks",
  • they fuel preoccupation with the illness leading to over-identification with the illness,
  • they contribute to further isolation from available sources of support by providing psedo online support,
  • they promote unhealthy motivation called "thinspiration" and comorodory in losing weight and staying sick.
See AED Position Statement on Pro-Anorexia Web-Sites

Keywords: define pro-ana eating disorder

If you came to the F.E.A.S.T. Eating Disorders Glossary from a page on the F.E.A.S.T site, click the "go back" button in your internet browser to return to that page; if not, we welcome you to visit the FEAST home page for a wealth of information on evidence-based treatment for eating disorders, support for parents and families, the latest eating disorders research, a forum for parents and caregivers, useful books, etc.