Dr Oz: PrettyThin.com- a Pro-Anorexia Website on How to Be Anorexic


Dr Oz: Pro-Anorexia Websites

On today’s show, Doctor Oz was joined by James, a man who ran one of the most popular Pro-Ana Websites in the world. His goal was to get into the minds of these individuals and to cure the people that have it. (Sorry, not believing this at all!) James told Dr Oz that people came to his website for dieting tips or to meet friends because they have lost their friends in the “real world” due to their illness. (Why not help them cure the disease so they can rejoin the “real world” instead of conversing with those that participate in the same destructive behavior?) James felt visitors to his site supported and caught each other from going too far with the disease. (OMG, I can’t even keep a straight face while typing BS!)


  1. kelli says

    Though I do believe that shows such as Dr Oz has a role in our society as “whistle-blowers”, I am against censorship and legislating morality. People have the right to read and dissimulate information. There are ample opportunities for them to read all sides of a situation. It is great that those such as Dr. Oz to fight the good fight. Only, the campaign of censoring the internet is a dangerous one. Most totalitarian states begin in the name of good – and end in a far different place. Thank-you for the opportunity to share.

  2. nancy crawford says

    This is a mental disorder. No one drives another person to any mental disease unless they want to go there themselves. Do not blame this man or any other websites. Your young lady on the show who weighs 73 lbs has an obese husband. Maybe he is who/what drove her to these extremes. I don’t think anyone truely understands why this happens. Blaming others is an easy cop out.

  3. Sydney says

    The man is a sick sociopath…That’s what he gets out of it. He enjoys it. No better than a serial killer.

  4. Cassie says

    You quite obviously know nothing about eating disorders or Pretty Thin. PT is NOT in any way pro-ana – which you would know if you had taken the time to look at the website properly. If you find it so terribly difficult to “keep a straight face” while writing this little article of yours, then maybe you should have done more research on the subject instead of relying on a tv show that is only picking up on a rather dated discussion. I am grateful to James for trying to show the world how people can benefit from a community such as the one Pretty Thin offers, but he was given no fair chance. He went there to speak for the many members of Pretty Thin, to create awareness about eating disorders. He is trying to help us. What people like Dr. Oz are doing isn’t helping anyone. Superficial shows like this are an insult to anyone suffering from an eating disorder.

    You should not judge something you don’t even understand.

  5. Michelle says

    These pro ano websites have turned my daughter into believing she is anorexic. She has been brain washed to believe that if she follows all that is shared on the blogs, she will be thin…She started out at as a beautiul 103 lb. 5’5 14 year old girl. This has turned her life and ours upside down. Her refusal to eat, change in personality and now the noticiable weight loss. I found that she was following these blogs on tumbler! PLEASE stop this immediately!!!! You are killing young girls! I feel so sorry for anybody suffering but it must be stopped!!!

  6. Heavenliegh says

    Michelle sorry to say but if she is living the life she has an eating disorder.And im sorry to tell you people anorexia isn’t like the flue and you can catch it. If people want one and find PT and start fasting guess what they were going to have one anyway. Because you can learn to fast but it takes a certain type of person to actually do it.For example goggling the site did it make you have an eating disorder?Does talking to people who suffer make you have one? Looking at those pictures does it make you want an eating disorder? If you read a tip on how to fast would you? I bet not, unless a person is already suffering it wont.Look up eating disorder not otherwise specified. An eating disorder is not just anorexia or bulimia no there are a lot more types. Most people start off restricting you dont just find the site and do it. And look up the United kingdom is it PT’s fault that the number of children(6-7 year old) are going to treatment of eating disorders/ No.

  7. Bianca says

    Heavenliegh is exactly right. Michelle, if your daughter was looking up these sites to begin with, there was obviously already some sort of problem present. A lot of you are very ignorant, because you haven’t actually been on the site. You shouldn’t talk about what you do not know. Pretty Thin isn’t your typical “pro-ana” site. There are rules on Pretty Thin. You are not allowed to give tips on how to starve or hide your harmful behaviors in the forums. What Pretty Thin is, for regular users, is a place where we can go for support. Not support in killing ourselves, but support in being able to speak freely and with other people who know what we’re going through. We’re not trying to get an eating disorder when we go on PT. We already have them. When we do have confused people come on, trying to get tips to develop an eating disorder, we do our best to educate them on what they are trying to get themselves into, that it’s not glamorous and it will hurt and kill them. Forums asking for “tips and tricks” get locked by moderators… But I’m sure you people wont hear any of this. You’d rather believe what the almighty television tells you, than figure things out for yourselves.

  8. staystrong says

    to the people saying that PT is killing people your wrong. i developed an eating disorder long before i knew about PT and then something really horrible happened in my life and i felt depressed and alone. my eating disorder became worse and i had no one to talk to because i knew no one would understand what i went through. I would cry myself to sleep everynight and felt like i was going to die. then i found PT and talked to many people who are struggling with what i was going through and i didnt feel so alone anymore and i finally had a way to let out everything that i held inside me and people gave me such amazing support. Being a part of PT is like having a family. We are all there for eachother. PT is probably the reason im alive.

  9. UmbrellaSky says

    I’m going to be honest. Prettythin saved my life. It was there for me when I was suicidal and felt like there was no one for me. The Prettythin community is amazing. It is not a pro-ana website. It does not promote eating disorders. I am bulimic and I seriously would not know what I would do without Prettythin. You people really have to stop bashing James. He created my haven, a place for me to express myself freely without having to be judged, a place where I feel like I belong.
    An eating disorder is not an lifestyle, I know it is not right, I know I may die from it but you people have to understand, I am sick. I am sick with an disorder called bulimia. I can’t help it. Please don’t wish for this disorder, you will regret it. Please don’t take away my only and current support, it’s the only thing I have.

  10. im_with_ana says

    I have a lot to say to the people that are attacking Prettythin btu I have descided to only say this :
    You lack knowlegde of people suffering form eating disorders, reading a book does NOT make you an expert, having a family member or friend with an eating disorder does NOT make YOU an expert.. try living with an eating disorder, maybe then you will realise how important communities like Prettythin are to us that are suffering. I think you are need to open your minds and listen to the people that are suffering from an illness, not attack their only means of truely expressing themselves. We live a life beind a mask and based on deciet, on Prettythin we are ourselves and true. Most of the people that use this site seek it out, Prettythin doesn’t come looking for healthy girls and boys and warp their minds.. and if you think that, you have a lot to learn. You don’t catch eating disorders just like you don’t catch schizophrenia, depression or demetia! It is a physcological illness. You wouldn’t close down a site where people with depression vent and discuss feelings? There are people that may not have an eating disorder on PT, some of them actually suffer from depression and self harm and they use PT for support and distraction. PT is a community where any one is welcome to bring their problems, questions or even just friendship. Before you start attacking this site, just remember, James doesn’t make the site, WE DO. James is brave person to have appeared on that show and for the people that have put him down should be ashamed of themselves.

  11. ana-and-me says

    sorry to say it but when i started fasting at 13, my parents closely watched my internet use, i didnt go find tips, i was sick i didnt need tips, if any “tips and tricks” i used at all it was from shows such as dr oz, “drinking water fills you up at 0 cal” “dont eat after this time at night” BLAH BLAH BLAH how to be thin how to have a flat tummy how to be beach ready, i have seen tip websites and dr oz gives them all pretty much on his shows, before you bash james you should probably take a second to educate yourself on the site and who it is used by
    1) “even though there were plenty of advertisements located on the website.” the only thing close to “advertisements” is the NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION website and hotline pretty sure they should be there and have help alot of people
    2) this have been said so many times i have lots count TIPS ON “GETTING EATING DISORDERS” ARE NOT ALLOWED i dont know how much more clear we can be about this but i will try, if you become a member and ignore the multiple warnings of do not ask for harmful tips or post harmful tips and then choose to do so the post will be locked and you will be “kicked out”
    3) i have said this once already if we are blaming james for “making young girls sick” be should put just as much blame on dr oz, whats wrong with a little belly fat, what do you have to “defeat” it when should you ever have to DEFEAT a part of your body i have heard it on dr oz before to “defeat your belly fat” and i used his “tips and tricks” on “getting ready for the summer, seeing the demos, of all the fat in my body just pushed ana deeper into my soul so i guess dr oz is killing me

  12. Kim says

    After I watched Dr. Oz’s show I went to check out prettythink.com and I found no sign of the website promoting anorexia as a way to weight loss whatsoever…all I saw was support forums and there was no diet tips or anything like that…it just seemed like a place for discussion and emotional support for people who have anorexia. Maybe I’m not seeing the whole picture because I’m not a member, so I don’t have access to those membership materials. But all in all it doesn’t really fit Dr. Oz’s description. I mean, I was completely aghast when I first heard James was running the site to TEACH girls how to be anorexic, utterly preying on the female insecurity and self-condemnation within the society we live in today that objectifies women. But I just don’t see that on his website…so I guess, since I don’t really know, I’ll reserve my judgement for now.

  13. Amy says

    PrettyThin is NOT pro-ana! It even has disclaimers to prove it! It’s Pro-Support and ED awareness! There’s even pages talking about recover! You just don’t understand James or PT! It helps people! It there for them when they need other who understand because they experience the same exact thing every single day. You would understand if you knew anything about or HAD an eating disorder; so you can only see things from a ”normal” and ”average” point of view. I can not believe you’d stoop so low as to bash a man that is helping people! Is that really what occured to you to get more money and viewers and listings?! Because it’s NOT right. Well, it’s not going to work; because there will always be people devoted to PT; I don’t care what any one says about PT, because I know it supports me, and so many others. We will NEVER abandon PT!
    Please, rethink your ”strategy”, and take a deeper look into PT, before you start judging those you don’t even know. Or just leave us the heck alone.

  14. *insert sigh here* says

    …ignorance is spreading so quickly in America. I don’t even…
    Websites DO NOT give people eating disorders. Eating disorders are MENTAL ILLNESSES. PT is a site about RECOVER and SUPPORT. Tips are NOT allowed there, and posts searching for that are DELETED. PT has saved lives before. The only ads there are ones for THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE.
    Do you think something like that can give you an eating disorder? NO.
    That’s like saying you went on a website for schizophrenics and you got the mental illness yourself. It just ISN’T POSSIBLE.

    Don’t blame things that happen to your beloved family members on websites. Some of you wildly pointing fingers may even be the ones to blame.

  15. Sah says

    I have been religiously watching Dr Oz show. After watching the show about pro Ana I went to the website prettythin.com and registered. I saw what the site is all about! There are no tips, no nothing on being anorexic!
    I seriously believe that Dr Oz should publicly apologize to have trashed this site and James! The site and it’s creator deserves that!
    Dr Oz is the one who gives tips on how to diet and be thin! He gave a name of a medicine one time in his show that would help the body to get rid of sugar that we eat, and I bought that. I are that for a month, and went for physical! Guess what! My sugar level had increased!
    Dr Oz, please apologize to James!

  16. says

    I love how people attack anorexic and bulimics while ignoring the real weight problem in america…obesity. More people die from conditions they gained from poor diet and lack of exercise then anorexia hands down. There is a problem with the way we function as a society when we criticize one extreme and embrace another. There has been so much buzz about Pro-Ana sites lately, people want to have them shut down though this obviously violates the first amendment. By the same logic I move that McDonalds be shut down for causing childhood obesity, I can imagine the same people trying to shut down Pro-Ana sites clutching a cheese burger close to their hearts at that thought. Stop trying to run people’s lives, adults can make their own decisions whether healthy or not, we have no business telling people how to live in the first place.
    I’m 18 and Ana, but it’s my life and its no one elses business what I do behind closed doors. As a teenage anorexic I can tell you that I’ve spoken to a lot of girls struggling with their weight but none of them stumbled upon a website and suddenly decided to starve themselves. Shows like these do nothing to help me or anyone else struggling with an ED, if anything they are counter productive. Maybe Dr.Oz needs to do some fact checking before he points the finger at a website.

  17. M.D.F.G. says

    I lost a beautiful daughter-in-law to suicide due to an ED, which she valiantly fought and sought professional help to overcome. I lost another daughter-in law who left my son for an Asian man…she also had an ED, an became obsessed with being as small as Asian women after having livied in Japan. They threw up, used enemas, exercised fanatically and detested each other for being “triggers” to each other. It was a nightmare for my 2 sons. To say these sites are dangerous is too mild. I applaud Dr.Oz for this program. Although the women on his show are clearly very extreme, I can’t say enough about the horrors of EDs…I have seen it first hand. It is a complicated “illness” that includes depression and control issues…and I do think it can begin with the overwhelming desire to lose weight that then can spiral out of control.

  18. david says

    kelli you are an a s ! My sister almost die from this .All James is doing making money off sick people .That wrong with this world .

  19. Anon says

    You are completely wrong. /I/ am having trouble keeping a straight face while reading /this./ I’d rather not argue, but I advise you to not point your finger when you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

    For all of you idiots blaming eating disorders on websites/the media/ etc., here’s a good idea- ACTUALLY LISTEN TO YOUR LOVED ONES, dammit, and not just with your ears. Maybe then you would not be so ignorant.

  20. Lydia says


    The reason we turn to sites like this are because of people like you. All of you who do not understand but would if you had an ED (which you obviously don’t) you would know how isolating it is, how you feel the need to communicate with others who do, so that you can help each other. Of course there will be those that abuse the website, there are people out there who will abuse anything in life when given the chance, but there are people on there who don’t abuse the website and they are a big part of the community.
    When I was a member of PT I saw people asking for tips and members told them that they were on the wrong site and no one gave them tips because it is not a ‘tipping’ website like so many believe.
    PT isn’t the one encouraging anorexia, there aren’t cover models who are size 0 or 00. Is it okay in a magazine because in the magazine it doesn’t mention that the model pictured is an unhealthy weight with ribs sticking out?
    So it’s okay to have a model who’s a stick more than a model a role model. Let’s just cover her in clothes and stick her in sample sizes that make normal and healthy girls feel like crap.
    The BS comes from everyday life that have made unhealthy the sought after norm. From being on PT I had a support system. If Dr Oz was a helpful doctor and good at what he does he’d understand these feeling of isolation that are often gone when you talk to someone who is also trying to recover.
    But for other people it isn’t media it can be anything from being insecure from looking at a photo of themselves where you know you didn’t picture too good or even at the right angle but you can convince yourself that this is how you look all the time leading to ED’s.
    It can be family issues, you feel like in some way you’ve lost control and then you find that you can keep your control by controlling what you eat. For others your just ‘on a diet’ you do not think you have anorexia, you don’t even notice that the GW that you have is too low.
    Whether you find a support system at home, through doctors or online we should be free to do so without your ridicule every where we turn.
    I lost this, I lost that obviously it’s there fault – your just blaming a website because you can’t come to terms with that fact that sometimes you contribute to the problem but ‘hey I’m family/friend so in your eyes it can’t be your fault.
    Listen to those with ED’s not those without, because even Dr can be hopelessly wrong. You say James is just in it to make money well what do you think Dr Oz does his show for to give back to the people? That’s why as soon as you go onto his website there is stuff about weight to draw in those insecure people. If anything

  21. Lydia says

    (my other comment posted unfinished. :/ )

    DOCTOR OZ IS THE DIET SITE. Dr Oz is the tip site that can be tipped on it’s head and used for bad all I have seen from him is diet tips that if I weren’t recovered I would use.
    Don’t be ignorant and believe everything on TV because he has Dr in front of his name. You’ve been influenced unfairly by a money grabber. Nothing can kill you but yourself. Your own mind. Tips can come in but it is my choice to use them.
    “Without food I am beautiful.” isn’t a tip. How does it trigger? How does it tip? Does it say how to stop eating to fill yourself up? No. Dr Oz does though doesn’t he? Yes, fill up with 0Cals this diet that diet. Blah blah yawn. He can trigger from this site. PT hasn’t and has asked those who are not there for the right reasons to leave.
    Lynn’s story is trying to pull at the heart strings, how did she get the disease PT. No. What was the point in pointing out her story in this post? To influence people who do not have an ED. They can get sympathetic and angry all at the same time. At the website. Which has nothing to do with it.

  22. Kat says

    I’m not a member of pretty thin and never have been HOWEVER, without the support and love from the people of the website I visit, I wouldn’t be alive today. I would buried 6ft under with a hell of a lot of other people if it wasn’t for sites like this one. No one out of the disorder understands what a terrible and lonely disorder it is. You lose everyone that you ever cared about and are told its your fault. But these people who share the same twisted troubles I do, they don’t judge or blame or make you feel worthless. They support, they nurture and they care. I was laughing at the BS in the article.
    ‘Pro ana’ websites aren’t always glamorising the disease, in fact they rarely do. They are about giving other people in this lonely world a chance to say how they feel.

    Clinics,treatment all of it fail everytime. They just make you weight restored, they don’t get rid of the mentality. Weight is secondary. The mentality needs to be treated not the body.

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