Oz on anorexia

Dr. Oz Show Today 3/6/2012: Are Web Sites Promoting Anorexia?

Dr. Oz attacks anorexia today and he says there are web sites actually promoting anorexic behavior and endangering peoples’ lives. The show opens with Oz talking about pro-ana and the web sites that promote anorexia. He says this is a dangerous trend and these sites are promoting a lifestyle that is killing people. We see Janice and she looks like a skeleton covered with skin. Oz says women do this because they have a deep obsession about being fat. He says someone told them they were fat at one time in their life and it triggered a dangerous reaction.

Oz asks Janice if she is anorexic and she says yes. He asked her what happened and she says she doesn’t know what triggered her to go down this path. Janice says she is on the show because she has heard about the pro-ana movement. Oz says these sites portray anorexia as a desireable thing. He mentions prettythin.com and the owner James. James says the pics on the site are a way to show the dangers of the disease and not for glorification.

James is now on the show and he talks of the support community in his site and how it actually helps people. Oz shows images from James’ site and how they are bragging about being so thin. James says these people seek a mantra about being anorexic and he says this does enable anorexics to continue the destructive behavior. James says Janice brought him to


tears. We now see Lynn and how she feeds herself with a tube. She is always tired and can’t walk without being winded. Jeff, Lynn’s husband, talks about how hard it is to plan your wife’s funeral at 31 years old. He is in tears and no one can imagine what it is like to watch your spouse dying slowly in front of you. Jeff pleads for help.

Lynn is on stage and Oz asks her and Jeff how they feel. Jeff says they have to plan their life around anorexia. He says there relationship is closer now because they don’t know how much time the have left. Oz asks James if this makes him regret his site and he says no. James says his site is way to get this out in the open. Lynn says Jeff is signing death certificates for young women. Jeff gives James a scolding and says he wants to take him out back for a while. James says he truly believes his site helps save people.

Tennie McCarty is on the show and she runs a site called “Shades of Hope” for anorexics. She asks James to give the name of one person he has helped. She says his site show women that they are still fat if they don’t look like the pictures. James says there are over 300 testimonials on his site from people who are getting help. Tennie says anorexia needs to be discussed when you see your child getting thinner.

Now we meet Amanda and Brittany and they talk of how the pro-ana sites help them reach their goals of being super skinny. They both talk of bonding with others that are in the movement. Amanda says she searched the sites out because boys called her fat. She thinks she is unattractive and wants to be thin. She actually has scars from hurting herself when she eats for punishment. Amanda says she see fat and would see fat even if she was as thin as Lynn. Janice tells both of them that the goals they set will never be good enough and this will get away from them. Tennie says the odds are pretty god that Brittany and Amanda have accepted the fact they have a disease. She says the “pay off” from being anorexic is a real thing but it can be deadly.

Brian now comes on the show and he is a recovering anorexic. Oz sent him to Rosewood treatment center last year. Brian looks healthy and strong compared to the before pictures. Brian says he knows where these women are but it is not hopeless. Brian tells Amanda and Brittany that this disease is relentless and merciless. He takes a stab at James by saying that a pro anorexia web site is like having a pro cancer web site. Brittany finally talks and says she knows she has a problem. She says she see the changes in her body and health and is scared. Tinnie says that all of them have a chance as long as they are still breathing. She offers all the women free treatment at Shades of Hope. Lynn says she wants to go. Janice says she wants to know more before she goes into treatment. Brittany says no because she is already in a program and has gained back 20 pounds already. Amanda says she doesn’t need help but she is eating only 300 calories a day. Amanda finally breaks down and says she will go.

Oz says we cannot control the internet but we can control our family. Tinnie says we need to talk about the problem before it gets out of control.
Photo courtesy of: Dr. Oz


  1. Stella says

    Love Dr Oz but the show was unfair to James – he is not promoting ano and he needs to open his mind sometimes. Agree with Sonia.

  2. sonia gunther says

    As much as I am a fan of Dr. Oz, I note a thin veil of hypocrisy here. Ninety-nine per cent of his shows are dedicated to telling viewers how to lose weight…really, go back and you won’t find one show that does not feature at least a segment on this issue. So isn’t he also culpable of promoting “thinspiration” in what is disguised in a more socially acceptable form?

    How I wish we could just get off the stress on how we LOOK, and just concentrate on eating to be healthy. I’m not naive enough to think that will ever happen. This, from a woman who has been fighting bulimia for 42 years, and losing.

  3. Kim says

    The way Dr/ Oz portrayed pro-ana on this episode was completely innacurate.

    Most pro-ana groups REJECT the notion of a physical ideal, they BLOCK the use of thinspo and damnerous tips, and they BAN individuals who think eating disorders exist as weight-loss aids or lifestyles.

    Pro-ana exists for people whith eating disorders to share the burden of sufferin, because as is made clear by the content of episodes like this, people’s ignorant judemental attitudes towards eating disorders only hurts them more.

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