What’s Wrong With This “Amazing” Weight Loss Story? Everything.

Friendly reminder: Not all before-and-after pictures are legit.

Yesterday, BuzzFeed Life wrote about a recent story on a Web site called The Chive that featured “amazing” stories of dramatic weight loss. Unfortunately, not all of the transformation photos The Chive shared were represented correctly: The image above right (which has since been removed from The Chive’s article) is of Anne Marie Sengillo, of Cincinnati, while she was suffering from anorexia. She had posted the photos to Reddit to explain that backsliding can happen during recovery. “My transformation from 150 pounds to 70 and then 90 pounds is not something I want anyone to see and think, ‘Wow! I want to look like her!’” Anne Marie told BuzzFeed Life. “I was very sick.”

While this misuse of photos is abominable, this isn’t the first time that a woman’s photos have been stolen and misrepresented as weight-loss before-and-after shots. Fitness blogger Roni Noone, who lost about 70 pounds by overhauling her lifestyle, had her images stolen by a diet pill company. And the Federal Trade Commission has found several other instances of other weight-loss supplements stealing photos and attributing them to their products. (For help figuring out whether a slim-down product is reputable, check out these tips that a diet aide is too good to be true).

This latest misuse of photos is a good reminder that getting to and staying at a healthy weight is about so much more than looking smaller in one picture than another. If you or someone you know is struggling with their relationship with food, you can find help and support from the National Eating Disorder Association.

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