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The Boston Globe


opinion | Jennifer Graham

Lent an excuse, challenge for anorexics

For the six weeks of Lent, I joined a friend in fasting once a week, and a Pooh-like growling tummy sent me to the Internet for tips. There, I fell into a rabbit hole, one occupied by anorexic teens. It turns out that while for Christians, Lent is a solemn season of penitence and abstention, something to be endured — has it only been four weeks? — for those with eating disorders, it’s a welcome cover that can’t last long enough.

“Who’s excited for Lent?” asked one girl posting on a “pro-ana” website, part of an online community for girls who believe self-starvation is a lifestyle choice, not a disease. Others there, answering the question “What are you giving up for Lent?”, answered “solid food” with disturbing frequency.

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