National Eating Disorders Association

National Eating Disorders Association Advocates for Eating Disorder Prevention in Schools 

NEW YORK CITY  — September 24, 2019  — The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is working with members of Congress to require schools to include provisions for eating disorders prevention in Local School Wellness Policies. This move comes after NEDA’s reintroduction of the bipartisan Long-term InVestment in Education for Wellness (LIVE Well) Act (H.R. 2625) in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year. In particular, NEDA is working to advance Section 4 of the bipartisan LIVE Well Act.

Since the creation of Local School Wellness Policies in 2004, many schools have focused on obesity prevention programming without considering any adverse effects on children at-risk of or who experience eating disorders. Studies show high rates of students meeting the criteria for eating disorders risk or warranting clinical referral. Further, research demonstrates that a focus on appearance and weight can promote disordered eating behaviors, contribute to body dissatisfaction, dieting, low self-esteem, and reliably predict greater weight gain over time. 

Eating disorders will affect 30 million Americans of all body sizes. Binge eating disorder is the most common type of eating disorder, and 81 percent of those with binge eating disorder live in higher weight bodies. Two-thirds of children in higher weight bodies are at-risk of developing an eating disorder or engaging in unhealthy weight-control measures. 

“It is imperative that any education efforts around food and nutrition include eating disorders prevention and screening for every child independent of weight status,” said Chevese Turner, NEDA’s Chief Policy and Strategy Officer. “This legislation is an important step forward for the millions of people who will experience an eating disorder at some point in their lives.” 

In conjunction with the return of Congress following summer recess, NEDA has sent a letter in support of Section 4 of the LIVE Well Act to Chairman Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Stabenow (D-MI) of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee. The letter was signed by over 50 national and state organizations, including organizations from Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Mississippi.

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ABOUT THE NATIONAL EATING DISORDERS ASSOCIATION

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Through our programs and services, NEDA raises awareness, builds communities of support and recovery, funds research and puts life-saving resources into the hands of those in need. For more information, visit www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

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