National Eating Disorders Association

National Eating Disorders Association Announces New Legislation for Eating Disorders Prevention and Assessment for All Body Sizes 

NEW YORK CITY  — November 19, 2018  — The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) announced today new legislation that amends existing United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) school and community-based nutrition education and obesity prevention programs to include eating disorders prevention. The Long-Term InVestment in Education for Wellness (LIVE WELL) Act incorporates evidence-based, long-term health practices into the existing USDA grant program to protect people with eating disorders and improve overall health outcomes of children.

Eating disorders 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. Historically, nutrition-education programs have been weight-focused, which can negatively affect those at risk for an eating disorder and increase body dissatisfaction. 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 assessment 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. ”

The LIVE WELL Act demonstrates that weight-inclusive programs, which reject an emphasis on weight and weight loss by focusing on health being multifaceted, improve the health of individuals with and without eating disorders. Its approach to well-being emphasizes health for all people across the weight spectrum and prioritizes the elimination of weight stigma. The legislation’s focus on long-term health practices includes shifting to an emphasis on overall health and well-being, rather than a sole focus on weight reduction.

Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Rep. John Faso (R-NY) led this bipartisan effort to include eating disorders prevention and assessment within existing federal nutrition education and obesity prevention programs.

Weight-focused prevention and intervention programs aggravate eating disorders and increase complications with overall health. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric diagnosis.

“Federal nutrition education programs help establish a lifetime of healthy eating and lifestyle choices for thousands of families across Upstate New York. Including eating disorder prevention activities as part of the framework for nutrition education is a logical step towards promoting overall health and well-being,” said Representative John Faso (R-NY-19). 

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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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