A move by the French government to crack down on so-called "pro-anorexia" websites has been branded futile by health experts. France wants to impose jail terms and stiff penalties against operators of sites which encourage girls and young women to starve themselves.
The measures are aimed mainly at blogs where anorexics share experiences and tips on appetite suppressants.
Conservative UMP politcian, Valerie Boyer says the law will be applied to sites which are found guilty of "provoking a person to excessive weight loss by encouraging prolonged restriction of food, risking death or directly compromising the person's health." "This will be punished with a maximum of two years imprisonment and a 30,000 euro fine," she told parliament.
However many sufferers of the common eating disorder say the government is taking the wrong action. Marilune, who has been anorexic for years, claims her site has been a lifesaving link to others. "Suppressing sites is not going to cure anorexia. There are still magazines and television," she says.
Those sentiments were shared by health expert and psychologist, Karen Demange: "I think the law will allow people to be aware that appearance and weight is a real problem of society. But I don't think this is going to incite young women to gain weight and take care of themselves," she says.
The French fashion industry has signed a charter of good conduct over the use of top model body images to stave off growing concerns about anorexia. Madrid has banned underweight models featuring at major shows while Milan requires them to provide a medical certificate.
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