Anorexia nervosa is a life-threatening eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight and intense fear of weight gain. About 40,000 people suffer from anorexia in France. It has one of the highest mortality rates of a psychiatric disorder, between 6-11%, and is among the most difficult to treat. Inciting people to extreme thinness could now be punishable by a year in prison and a fine of 10,000 euros ($11,000) in France after MPs voted to take aim at 'pro-anorexia websites'.
The two deputies who proposed the amendment, Maud Olivier and Catherine Coutelle, said, "Certain sites known as 'pro-Ana' can push people into a vicious circle of anorexia and authorities cannot do anything about it. The new law is necessary and will not call into question the idea of freedom of expression on the Internet."
Deputies voted through an amendment to a law on public health that would punish anyone provoking people to excessive thinness by encouraging prolonged dietary restrictions that could expose them to dangers of death or directly impair their health.