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Anorexia Promoted by Twitter User

If you are on Twitter, you may have noticed the name Kenneth Tong in the trending topics recently. The former reality show contestant has taken to his Twitter account to promote “managed anorexia” with a string of offensive tweets. The profile summary for MrKennethTong states: “Proudly endorsing managed anorexia. Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.”

The tweets from that account, encouraging anorexia and stating the value of a girl or woman is tied directly to her body size, have caused something of a furor. Here are some examples:

Inner beauty is a myth. You are just fat. You are unloved. People look at you & are pleasant cause they feel sorry for you.”

Managed anorexia is not life threatening, it gives living another chance after you messed it up eating too much.”

Inner beauty is as convincing of an argument and idea as @JustinBieber dating a fat girl. We all know she’ll be skinny and size zero.”

Thankful for this global opportunity to help girls all over the world know that to be skinny is to be perfect & to be fat is unacceptable.”

Tweets with similar messages have been published for several days, along with mentions of a supposed “Size Zero Pill.”

According to MrKennethTong: “I do no promote anorexia. I promote managed anorexia. I created the latter term. I defined the latter, I assure you there is a difference.” Mr. Tong, a former Big Brother contestant in the United Kingdom, does not have any medical or health credentials. Clearly, there is no such medically recognized term as “managed anorexia.” Anorexia is not something individuals can manage on their own, which is why it is a psychiatric illness. Also, there aren’t any therapies guaranteed to manage or cure Anorexia Nervosa, which afflicts mainly young women, starting typically at about ages fourteen to seventeen. Between five and twenty percent of patients diagnosed with anorexia die.

A profile of Anorexia Nervosa from the University of Maryland lists some of the other consequences of the disease:

  • Abnormally slow heart rate and low blood pressure; the risk for heart failure rises as heart rate and blood pressure levels sink lower and lower
  • Reduction of bone density (osteoporosis), which results in dry, brittle bones
  • Muscle loss and weakness
  • Severe dehydration, which can result in kidney failure
  • Fainting, fatigue, and overall weakness
  • Dry hair and skin; hair loss is common

Heart disease is the most common cause of death for people suffering from severe anorexia. One of the other causes is suicide, because depression can be present in people who are suffering from anorexia, and starving oneself can contribute to depression.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health states the average cost of anorexia inpatient treatment in a hospital or clinic for one month can be $30,000 and typically this expense is not covered by health insurance. The total cost of treatment including therapy and monitoring from medical personnel can be over $100,000.

Celebrities have begun voicing their disgust on Twitter. A tweet was sent from MrKennethTong to the pop star Rihanna and she responded with the following: “This is exactly why girls are doing everything to destroy their bodies!!! Girls are dying all over the world because of ignorant individuals like this @MrKennethTong.” (Source: Softpedia.com)

The tweets coming MrKennethTong have been directed mostly at females, although they could just as easily be directed at males as well. It should be noted males also suffer from eating disorders, though generally in much lower numbers than females. The exclusive focus on females, calling them fat and unattractive, suggests some kind of hostility, or discriminatory attitude towards women, in addition to the campaign of dangerous misinformation.

Image Credit: Shorelander / Wikimedia Commons

Anorexia Links
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
Mayo Clinic
WebMD

Related Links
All Worked Up: Our Obsession With Food
Are Online ‘Friends’ Real Friends?
Anorexic Model Dies
Anorexic Girl Wins Lawsuit

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140 comments

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10:42AM PDT on Jul 13, 2011

How utterly disgusting

9:16PM PST on Feb 22, 2011

OH MY GOD! this is horrifying! that guy obviously has no idea what anorexia actually IS! i'm so disgusted by this, i don't know what to do.

10:21PM PST on Feb 9, 2011

Mr Tong is just another pathological attention seeker, hence his part in such idiotic reality tv tripe!

9:26AM PST on Jan 24, 2011

its make me sick every time when I read about those skinny girls who want to starving yourself til death...

2:20PM PST on Jan 17, 2011

I think that this is just horrible. Girls already have enough self esteem issues without some guy telling us all to become dangerously skinny. I read this article, and googled it, and i found this article:
http://support.technorati.com/women/article/kenneth-tong-admits-controversial-comments-on/
Please read it, but i'm not sure if you should beleive it. It's still a horrible thing to do, even if it was a joke. and it was not a very funny joke. It's really not something to be joking about.

9:57PM PST on Jan 16, 2011

As an anorexia survivor I see this as a terrible thing....

8:30PM PST on Jan 16, 2011

Managed Anorexia... how deplorable. To promote an illness as if it were something to be celebrated - inner beauty is a myth?!? Outer beauty doesn't guarantee happiness, or else celebrities wouldn't attempt suicide or become addicts. This man is depraved, and unfortunately young women with low self-esteem may believe his spewing.

Oh my - what on earth will be next? Therapeutic chemotherapy for weight management??? This just sickens me...

3:49AM PST on Jan 16, 2011

Where has all this ugliness come from and why are so many people in our societies supporters of this disgusting behaviour? There was a time in man's history where Botticelli's women had their place in society. The Venus de Milo and other classical paintings are still celebrated as beautiful works of art. Have a look at the shape of those women and men!

"Vive la difference" I say. Stop the madness. Get off the carousel! Live and let live no matter how different it is from your own ideas! Leave other people alone and live your life yourself, fat or thin, short or tall whichever you choose and whichever you are!

6:50PM PST on Jan 15, 2011

That's disgusting! I hope he's banned from Twitter. What he's doing is disgraceful, and completely misuses the power of the Internet.

9:26AM PST on Jan 15, 2011

What a disgusting man. Even from watching him on Big Brother, I could tell he was nasty and viewed women as objects, especially the way he treated his girlfriend. This is such a serious topic numerous celebrities have commented on his tweets negatively, something he seems proud of as he retweeted them. Thanks for posting.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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