France to crack down on sites promoting anorexia

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French politicians have called for stiff penalties, including three years in jail, for fines against “pro-anorexia” sites and publications that encourage girls and young women to stave themselves.

“Giving young girls advice about how to lie to their doctors, telling them what kinds of food are easiest to vomit, encouraging them to torture themselves whenever they take any kind of food is not part of liberty of expression,” Roselyne Bachelot, France’s Health Minister, said to the French parliament.

These proposed laws are mainly aimed at sites dubbed “pro-ana” blogs and sites where anorexics share and even provide tips on how to suppress their appetite. It will include penalties of two years in jail with a 30,000 euros fine for “incitement to excessive thinness by publicizing of any kind.”

It would then rise to three years in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros where cases involved death caused by anorexia.

The bill, like many other countries, needs to go before the Senate before it becomes law.