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Crowdsourced HealthHow What You Do on the Internet Will Improve Medicine$
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Elad Yom-Tov

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034500

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034500.001.0001

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Anorexia: A Disease Online

Anorexia: A Disease Online

Chapter:
(p.49) 3 Anorexia: A Disease Online
Source:
Crowdsourced Health
Author(s):

Elad Yom-Tov

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262034500.003.0004

The internet serves as a unique virtual meeting place for people with rare diseases, providing advice on recovery, but also, astoundingly, on how to remain ill. The latter is especially true for certain mental diseases, of which anorexia nervosa is a primary example. In some of these websites, good-intentioned interventions aimed at helping people recover from their condition are shown to be detrimental. The ability to identify anorexia patients because of their online activity is used to answer an important question of public health, namely, the relationship between the portrayal of celebrities (especially those suspected to be suffering from an eating disorder) by mainstream media and the development of anorexia.

Keywords:   Rare diseases, Mental disease, Anorexia nervosa, Mainstream media

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