ProAna and ProMia: enemy sites

ProAna and ProMia: enemy sites

The now widespread sites ProAna (Pro Anorexia) and ProMia (Pro Bulimia) represent a serious threat to the health of all people with Eating Behavior Disorder.


Advertising message DCAs are pathologies characterized by altered eating habits associated with a constant concern for body weight and shape. The ProAna and ProMia sites represent a sort of decalogue to be pursued in order to feed the concerns about body weight and shape by suggesting strategies aimed at maintaining the pathology itself.

DSM-5 (2013) proposed a new classification of Eating Behavior Disorders. We find 6 main diagnostic categories plus 2 residual:

The two residual diagnostic categories collect sub-threshold disorders or categories of disorders which present a problematic relationship with food:

In this article we will consider two of the major ailments, Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa, closely related to the primordial onset of the ProAna and ProMia sites.

In anorexia nervosa (AN) there is:

In bulimia nervosa (BN) the following occurs:

According to the psychological model of Brunch (Brunch, 1978) the serious disturbance of the body image, the inability to properly interpret hunger and the deep sense of inadequacy represents the primary dysfunctional nucleus of these disorders.

Advertising message For the cognitive model, the concern for weight, the “phobic” avoidance of fatness associated with an excessive evaluation of the self based only on one’s own weight and body shapes, represent the cognitive components that characterize the disorder (Fairburn, 2002).

For predisposing personality theory, personality traits such as low self-esteem, perfectionism and interpersonal distress are more common in people with DCA than in the normal population (Garner, Olmsted, Polivy and Garfinkel, 1984). Albina Perri in a text entitled Magre da morte (2008 – Aliberti publisher) speaks of about three hundred thousand sites in the world that celebrate the body and its thinness: virtual spaces where girls and boys meet to give and receive suggestions about methods to lose weight and tricks to avoid feeling hungry (drink lots of water!, chew and then spit!), ways to vomit immediately after meals (stick your toothbrush in your throat!), methods to hide food (put everything in a napkin or in the sleeve of the sweater!), tables with the calories of food,

Often the person registered on the blogs is asked to constantly post photos that attest to weight loss, a goal which is, from time to time, encouraged and encouraged by the other blog members.

It even went so far as to draw up a series of commandments of thinness to follow. Wykes and Gunter in 2005 in a text titled The Media and the body Image report the following commandments:

What makes these blogs, communities, etc. really dangerous is the empathetic aspect: girls / i with DCA who feel understood by the subscribers and this only reinforces their bond and trust considering, instead, all as “enemies” those who seek to distance the person with DCA from dysfunctional food practices for their health.