National Eating Disorders Association
Blog

Take Action in the Fight Against Eating Disorders!

Kerry Dolan, Public Policy Manager

With the national spotlight on eating disorders during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, it’s a great time to educate our elected leaders from across the country about eating disorders, and to ask for their support of important legislation that would have a positive impact on our community. That is why we are dedicating Wednesday, February 24th to a Day of Action, and we invite you to join us!

During the Day of Action, we invite you to call, write, and tweet your U.S. Senators and Representatives to request their support of two historic pieces of legislation, The Educating to Prevent Eating Disorders Act (H.R. 4153) and the Anna Westin Act (H.R. 2515/S. 1865). We are hopeful that with your efforts, each of these bills will be passed into law!

Remember, your legislators were elected to represent YOU, and they are interested in hearing about the issues that are important to you. Your voice truly can make a difference in the fight against eating disorders!

How can you help?

Use our Day of Action Packet as a guide to educate your legislators about eating disorders, and to request their support of these important initiatives! 

Take this online action to e-mail your U.S. Representative in support of the Educating to Prevent Eating Disorders Act and send an e-mail to your U.S. Senators in support of the Anna Westin Act.

Inside the Day of Action Packet:

  • How to Find Representative Contact Information
  • Sample Call Scripts
  • Sample Letters & E-mails
  • Online Action Form
  • Social Media Messaging
  • Shareable Graphics
  • How to show your support in person

About the legislation:

Educating to Prevent Eating Disorders Act (H.R. 4153)

The Educating to Prevent Eating Disorders Act aims to amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a pilot program for eating disorders screenings in middle schools across the country, and  would also include funding to provide educational information and seminars for teachers and parents on the dangers of eating disorders. This program would provide valuable insight into the impact of screening for eating disorders.

The Anna Westin Act (H.R. 2515/S.1865)

The Anna Westin Act clarifies congressional intent to include all eating disorders in the implementation of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act of 2008. Eating disorders are treatable when addressed properly. Enactment of this initiative would help in the prevention of eating disorders by training health professionals on the early identification and intervention when precursory symptoms and behaviors arise; allow for training of health professionals; provide better treatment coverage to those affected by the disorders, thereby decreasing out-of-pocket treatment costs. In addition to trainings, the House version of the Anna Westin Act sheds light on the harmful effects of altered body images in advertising.