Position Statement: "Miss Bimbo" Web Site
The “Miss Bimbo” Web site, aimed at girls aged 9 to 16, hosts an Internet game that encourages preadolescents and adolescents girls to embrace plastic surgery, extreme dieting and the use of diet pills in the search for the perfect figure. For now it has already attracted more than 200,000 members in the United Kingdom.
The Academy for Eating Disorders, the world's largest professional organization for those who work with individuals suffering from eating disorders, is deeply concerned about the adverse effects Web sites such as this can produce on the health and well-being of young girls. Dieting, use of diet pills, aiming for a perfect body shape or weight are behaviors that can put girls at risk for the development of an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia nervosa. An Internet game that glamorizes these attitudes and behaviors and encourages them as acceptable lifestyle choices for children stimulates the adoption of risky behaviors in very young girls.
Anorexia nervosa is a devastating illness that affects up to 1 percent of young women. It is the third most common disease in young women and has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness. The starvation behavior seen in anorexia nervosa can affect every organ system and can lead to decreases in bone mass, osteoporosis, changes in the brain, heart problems, and ultimately, death.
On these grounds, the Academy for Eating Disorders declares its opposition to this Internet game and supports its banning from Internet.
The Academy for Eating Disorders works with the media, eating disorders advocacy groups, and patients and families to influence public opinion, shape public policy, and promote preventive efforts for eating disorders.
The Academy for Eating Disorders Communication Committee
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