We, the undersigned, believe that online posting of pro-eating disorders content poses a serious threat to the lives and safety of individuals prone toward or already suffering from eating disorders. Eating disorders are clearly understood across the health care continuum for the devastating impact this disease has on the lives of children and adults from all ethnic and socio-economic groups.
Because eating disorders are anosognosic diseases, patients who are creating and posting this content cannot grasp the danger their activity poses to others. This content is often referred to as "proana", "thinspo", and "thinspiration", among other descriptive labels.
We believe it falls to the online media community to recognize the virulent effect of this content--which advocates dangerous weight manipulation behaviors by those who are vulnerable or already suffering with eating disorders. According to the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Thomas Insel, "the most fatal mental disorder... is anorexia nervosa. It has an estimated mortality rate of around 10 percent. ...While many young women and men with this disorder die from starvation and metabolic collapse, others die of suicide..." http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2012/spotlight-on-eating-disorders.shtml
We therefore call on all social media content creators and distributors to recognize the dangerous implications of this activity. In keeping with this view, we invite Apple Inc. to join forces with families, physicians, researchers and health care providers around the world to act responsibly to stop the proliferation of online content, in all it's forms, that encourages or validates potentially lethal eating disordered behaviors.
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