The Guardian revealed this month that there has been a big rise in hospital admissions for eating disorders in the past year, prompting concern from experts about a growing crisis of young people experiencing anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
Eating disorders. Charities and experts recently called on Instagram to crack down on images of eating disorders in the same way the app was planning to do with graphic self-harm images, as part of a series of changes made in response to the death of the British teenager Molly Russell.
Photograph: Alamy. One woman who has an eating disorder, and worked with an anorexia coach on Kik, said she was asked to send naked pictures when she did not meet her calorie limit for the day.
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This comes despite community guidelines for the app saying self-harmeating disorders or suicide should not be shown or promoted. She added that she felt most of the coaches were men.
The Canada-based app, which was founded in and claims m s worldwide, says users who feel unsafe should report content to them. Reuse this content. Another user has been on for more than four months and is an admin of multiple groups.
In the UK, B eat can be contacted on or ed at help beateatingdisorders. Fri 1 Mar Hospital admissions for eating disorders surge to highest in eight years. Figures show year-on-year rises in hospital visits, with admission s more than doubling from 7, in to 16, in the year to April The latest figure is up from 13, the year before — the highest rise in eight years.
People will not develop an eating disorder by being exposed to content that glamorises eating disorders, but research shows that such content helps perpetuate the illnesses for people who are already suffering. App hosts dozens of group chats where youngsters are given strict weight-loss advice.
It also does not go far enough.
The dangers of pro-ana and pro-mia
This article is more than 2 years old. Sarah Marsh.
Samuel Pollen: 'Having an eating disorder is like having a bad cop inside your head'. A main attraction of Kik that differentiates it from other messaging apps is its anonymity. The Guardian found at least 71 pro-anorexia groups with a combined total of more than 2, members operating under easily searchable terms.
One of the people who appears to be a male coach running a group has been on Kik for more than three years. The app has come under fire in the past for its approach to extremist groups who have used the platform.
If the recipients do not follow strict advice to limit their calorie intake, the coaches tell them they need to be punished — in some chats asking ana to send nude pro. Kik, a popular app among children and teenagers that has ly come under fire over safeguarding issues, hosts dozen of pro-anorexia group chats that are open to the public. On ing the groups, people are asked to give their age, height, current weight and goal weight.