France to ban incitement of anorexia

Encouraging anorexia in magazines and websites to made illegal in France

A bill in French parliament is likely to go through, making it illegal for anyone to actively encourage anorexia in the country.

The proposal would mean all magazines, advertisers and websites would be heavily scrutinised under the new bill, which has passed the lower house in parliament and is set to go before the Senate.

If the law is instigated, offenders risk a jail term of up to three years and a hefty fine of £24,000. In cases where a death was caused by anorexia, the penalties would rise to three years in jail and a £36,000 fine.

The law is aimed mainly at blogs and websites where anorexics share their feelings and experiences and give advice on appetite suppressants and what foods are easier to vomit.

French health minister Roselyne Bachelot said to parliament: ‘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.’

According to the French health ministry there are between 30,000 to 40,000 anorexics and 90% of them are young women.

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