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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Eating disorders + the Internet = Tragedy

Web Sites Celebrate a Deadly Thinness - New York Times

Anything can and will appear on the Internet and so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that their are now web sites glorifying eating disorders and offering advice for hiding eating disorders from parents. Also not surprisingly, teens who visited these sites were less healthy and spent more time in the hospital than teens who did not.

It is a further sign of the moral decline of our country that the authors of these sites can absolve themselves of responsibility on the grounds that "I just put the information out there. I don't force anybody to follow it." This is what happens when a society places a priority on individualism at the expense of our collective responsibility to one another. As one doctor said, the child most vulnerable to these sites are the one's "least connected to other people".

We also need to do a better job of encouraging and supporting our youth through the difficult teen-age years. They struggle enough with finding their place in the world without feeling that they are going through the experience alone.


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