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Help NEDA Make Eating Disorders Research a Legislative Priority!

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Emily Rosenberg, Advocacy Intern

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, yet are among the lowest funded. As a community, we need to fight to change this. According to the NIH, research funding for eating disorders is limited to .93 cents per person affected. Further resources for eating disorder research are needed to help identify strategies to prevent and cure these complex and serious mental illnesses. 

It is time to shed light on the devastation that eating disorders can cause and work towards early intervention, appropriate treatment, and prevention. Additional research is important to help reduce the prevalence of eating disorders in the United States, and ultimately save lives. 

Since 2013, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has funded over $1 million in innovative eating disorders treatment and prevention research through the Feeding Hope Fund for Clinical Research. However, much more funding is needed in order to continue developing effective treatment and intervention strategies. 

This year, NEDA is asking for an increase in research funding for eating disorders to $10 million under the FY 2018 Department of Defense Bill. We are asking for the money through this department due to the limited funds from other sources. The funding would come through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) housed within the Department of Defense. The CDMRP is a peer-reviewed program that fills research gaps by funding high impact projects that other agencies may not fund.  

This research would benefit members of the military and their families who have a high prevalence of eating disorders, as well as other individuals with eating disorders. Representatives Ryan Costello and Chellie Pingree and Senators Tammy Baldwin and Amy Klobuchar have been champions for this funding in the U.S. House and Senate. The CDMRP has also funded autism, psychological health, and epilepsy, among other research initiatives. Eating disorders deserve to be added to this list. 

We are urging Congress to appropriate $10 million through this program to fund novel eating disorders research, and we need your help! We had great success with this initiative during the Eating Disorder Coalition Advocacy Day earlier this month, but need more support. You can help by contacting your Representatives and Senators and asking them to sign on to letters led by our champions. 

Call Your U.S. Senators Today!

Call: (202) 224-3121 

Press 1 to be connected to your senators’ offices.

Here’s our suggested message:

Hello, my name is [insert name] and I am a constituent living in [city, state]. I am calling to urge you to support increased research funding for eating disorders through the Department of Defense.

You can support this by signing on to a letter led by Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tammy Baldwin, requesting the inclusion of research funding for eating disorders under the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program for FY 2018. 

Eating disorders will affect 30 million Americans in their lifetimes and they have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. They also have a high prevalence rate among military members and their families. Your support could help improve the lives of all individuals struggling with eating disorders.

Don’t Have Time to Call?

Phone calls are really the best way to take action, but if you don’t have the time (or if you’d like to double your impact) you can send them a quick email asking them to add their name to the letter!