Moms in uproar over online diet gurus

AFP

Following a steady pelting of complaints by anti-eating-disorder activists, YouTube temporarily suspended the channel of a popular raw-food adherent known as TannyRaw on Friday. And while the channel was only down for a few hours, the move touched off a social-media dustup about responsibility and blame regarding young, susceptible women, eating disorders and those spouting diet advice, including TannyRaw and a YouTube star who calls herself Freelee the Banana Girl, shine.yahoo.com reports.
The small but vocal group of about 15 critics — Mothers (and Others) Against Eating Disorders, or MAED — took issue with what they call TannyRaw’s “dangerous” approach to dispensing weight-loss and nutrition advice and say that in one video the South Carolina woman, whose real name is Tanya, even counselled a young girl to refuse treatment for her eating disorder. “That’s unethical and dangerous,” noted one woman on Twitter, where an impassioned back-and-forth between people on both sides of the argument raged all day on Friday. “We will not stand for her preying on sick kids!” Tweeted another.
The TannyRaw channel was down for several hours on Friday, displaying the following message to its more than 2,000 followers, “This account has been suspended due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy against spam, gaming, misleading content, or other Terms of Service violations.”
Before complaining to YouTube — as well as to the FCC and the FDA — MAED says it attempted more than 50 times to start a dialogue with Tanya directly, but got no reply.
Tanya (whose last name is unknown) did not respond to a request for comment from Yahoo Shine — nor did YouTube. But the LFRV (low-fat raw vegan) guru, who has a tendency to sing along with Stevie Nicks and to film herself while driving, and who also posts frequently about her diet on Instagram to her more than 3,100 followers, introduced several new YouTube videos on Friday in response to the controversy. “I’ve been robbed, and you’ve been robbed, of our 186 precious videos — genuine, true light, of me coming to you with what really healed and helped me,” Tanya told fans, before her videos were reinstated. “No gimmicks, no me trying to make a dollar, just me giving to you.” 
In an earlier video, she explains that she was starting her channel to help others by talking about how the LFRV diet helped her lose more than 100 pounds, dropping to 229 pounds from 127. It also helped her beat lupus, arthritis, nodular acne and “all kinds of autoimmune disorders, where I almost was bedridden before”, she says in the video. 
Her fans seem to be devoted with a cult-like allegiance. “I use to be blind and let me tell you now I see so much clearer,” wrote one devotee on YouTube Friday. Others created their own YouTube videos in which they defend her honour and fans also came out in full force on Twitter and on Instagram, where one woman noted, “I Tweeted back to (the angry moms) asking them if they knew about the many (eating disorder) cases that have been cured through this lifestyle, including mine, but they haven’t answered yet. I don’t know how they got hung up on Tanya because she is nothing but a positive beam of light.” 
But TannyRaw is not the biggest problem on YouTube, according to the moms of MAED. 

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