What is pro-ana?

Pro-ana is the term used by people who see themselves as a proponent of anorexia nervosa. Young girls in particular are very active on websites dedicated to Pro-ana. The girls try to motivate and inspire each other to lose weight. Pro-ana is extremely dangerous and can cause permanent damage. What actually makes it so dangerous?

What is Pro-ana?

  • Pro = for
  • Ana = Anorexia

In fact, people who are pro-ana are in favor of anorexia. They do not see anorexia as a disease, but as a lifestyle. Ana is often given as a pet name for the disease. People come together on pro-ana sites. There is often a discussion forum where site members can talk to each other about anorexia. They also give each other advice. The websites themselves often contain a lot of tips. Tips on how to burn as many calories as possible, how to regurgitate your food more easily and tips on how to keep everything a secret from those around you.


Many pro-ana sites also contain photos and videos of (extremely) thin models. Thinspiration, this is also called. In other words: inspiration to stay thin. The photos posted are usually of people who are unhealthily thin and it is very dangerous to pursue these goals.


Not everyone who is active on a pro-ana site has the eating disorder anorexia. However, anorexia can be developed very easily by the messages on the sites. Someone who signs up will soon notice how much support she receives from the other members. The support they receive often makes them even more driven to lose weight. Especially if someone feels misunderstood at home, it can be extra motivating to find a website where people cheer you on when you have lost another kilo.

Pro-ana is dangerous

Pro-ana sites are extremely dangerous. Tips are given that can cause a lot of damage to the body. This can cause your body to become malnourished and menstruation to stop. Your intestines can also fail, resulting in death. It is also often presented on the sites as if pro-ana is not a disease and it is all justified. Some sites even talk about a diet. Be careful with this: pro-ana is never good and it mainly destroys your body.


A pro-ana site can be very tempting, especially if you are already dealing with an eating disorder. All tips and help are there for the taking. However, it is wise not to go to these types of sites. It can stimulate you in a negative way. It’s better not to go there out of curiosity. The tips can be a trigger. If you are dealing with an eating disorder such as anorexia, a pro-ana site will not provide any help. You have to get that help somewhere else.

Pro-ana is addictive

Many young girls experience that the tips and advice they receive on a pro-ana site can be addictive. This may be because they feel valued and understood, for example. It is important to find out what the underlying problem is. Why does someone feel so comfortable with a pro-ana site? If necessary, the websites can be blocked to prevent further addiction.

read more

  • Overcome anorexia
  • Consequences of anorexia
  • How do you know if someone has anorexia nervosa?
  • What causes anorexia?