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Eating Disorders Group Hits Amazon for Offensive Message

October 06, 2017
By Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The opinions expressed by Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Learning Network bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone and are not meant to reflect the opinions of the publication.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), along with many of the individuals and families it supports, have expressed outrage this week about a hooded sweatshirt being sold via retail behemoth Amazon.

The message on the hoodie reads “Anorexia: Like Bulimia, Except with Self-Control.” Word of its availability prompted this response from NEDA chief executive Claire Mysko:

“Jokes about eating disorders are dangerous and cliché. This hoodie propagates the myth that eating disorders are trivial and mere issues of willpower or self-control. Stereotypes like this result in increased stigma and are barriers that prevent people from seeking help. Anorexia is not a 'lifestyle choice,' it is a mental health disorder with socio-biological influences.”

NEDA and others have asked Amazon to remove the item, which according to news reports is sold by vendor ArturoBuch, from its online store. But as this week was coming to a close, there had been no response from the online retailer. It is unclear whether the product could be interpreted as violating Amazon's guidelines for offensive products, covering areas such as the glorification of hatred, violence, religious intolerance, etc.



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