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Extreme Fasting: How Silicon Valley is Rebranding Eating Disorders

February 21, 2019
The Guardian
Fasting, of course, is not synonymous with anorexia.

Nor is it necessarily problematic. However, as Dr Allison Chase, an eating disorder specialist, tells me over email, “any eating behaviors that involve restriction or rigid rules is concerning” and can be a precursor to diagnosable eating disorders. Also concerning is the way these behaviors are glamorized, particularly in Silicon Valley, where a number of high-profile tech execs extol the transformative power of extreme fasting. Meanwhile the compulsive measuring behaviors associated with eating disorders, including obsessively tracking your calorie intake and exercise, have been normalized by fitness tracking apps and the Silicon Valley ethos that constant self-examination leads to self-improvement.

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