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Eating Disorders: Internet

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent meetings his Department has had with internet service providers regarding websites which are pro-anorexia or pro-bulimia. (245489)

The Department has had no meetings with internet service providers about pro-anorexia or pro-bulimia websites.

The Government are concerned about the risks posed by websites which encourage anorexia or bulimia. We continue to explore a variety of courses of action. For example, we have worked with a media agency which offered their expertise pro bono to run advertisements directing youngsters to more appropriate sites.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps his Department has taken to promote awareness among parents of the dangers of pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia websites. (246089)

Responsibility for the regulation of the internet rests with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

The Government are concerned about the risks posed by websites which encourage anorexia or bulimia. However, these sites are not in themselves illegal, and may be hosted by internet service providers based overseas, so the Government are normally unable to take legal action against them.