There is widespread use of the Internet to promote anorexia as a lifestyle choice. Pro-anorexia content can be harmful for people affected or at risk of having anorexia. That movement is actively engaged in sharing photos on social networks such as Flickr. The extraction of pro-anorexia and pro-recovery photographs from the photo sharing site Flickr pertaining to , photos from users and analyzing four separate social networks therein. Pro-recovery users employ similar words to those used by pro-anorexia users to describe their photographs, possibly in order to ensure that their content appears when pro-anorexia users search for images.
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View research View latest news Sign up for updates. Metrics details. A salient feature of anorexia nervosa AN is the persistent and severe restriction of food, such that dietary intake is inadequate to maintain a healthy body weight. Experimental tasks and paradigms have used illness-relevant stimuli, namely food images, to study the eating-specific neurocognitive mechanisms that promote food avoidance. This systematic review, completed in accordance with PRISMA guidelines, identified and critically evaluated paradigms involving images of food that have been used to study AN. There were 50 eligible studies, published before March 10 th , identified from Medline and PsychINFO searches, and reference screening. Studies using food image-based paradigms were categorised into three methodologic approaches: neuropsychology, neurophysiology, and functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI. Paradigms were reviewed with a focus on how well they address phenomena central to AN. Across tasks, differences between individuals with AN and healthy peers have been identified, with the most consistent findings in the area of reward processing.
Previous fMRI studies show that women with eating disorders ED have differential neural activation to viewing food images. However, despite clinical differences in their responses to food, differential neural activation to thinking about eating food, between women with anorexia nervosa AN and bulimia nervosa BN is not known. In response to food vs non-food images, women with BN showed greater neural activation in the visual cortex, right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, right insular cortex and precentral gyrus, women with AN showed greater activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, cerebellum and right precuneus. HC women activated the cerebellum, right insular cortex, right medial temporal lobe and left caudate. Women with AN and BN activate top-down cognitive control in response to food images, yet women with BN have increased activation in reward and somatosensory regions, which might impinge on cognitive control over food consumption and binge eating. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
For almost as long as the internet has existed, so too have pro-eating disorder communities: blogs, groups, forums, and social media profiles where users share stories and photos related to disordered eating and body image. Some members simply want a judgment-free place to express their feelings about a complicated illness, but others promote more dangerous behavior, like encouraging extreme diets or dissuading people from getting help. And as with other kinds of harmful content on the internet , platforms hosting pro-ED communities have long struggled with how to moderate them. In , Yahoo removed more than pro-ED sites from its servers, saying they violated its terms of service. The study also found that sites like Pinterest and Instagram sometimes suggest more pro-ED content to users via their recommendation algorithms.