Virtual Congressional Briefing Event

Preventing Disordered Eating, Weight Stigma, and Improving Mental Health in Schools
Tuesday, September 29
2:00 – 3:00 pm ET


Briefing Topic

The Eating Disorders Prevention in Schools Act of 2020 (#EDPSA), federal legislation that would encourage schools to include eating disorders prevention within their Local School Wellness Policies


  • #EDPSA would require schools to include eating disorders prevention within their Local School Wellness Policies.
  • Along with helping schools understand how to recognize and appropriately assist students at risk for or with eating disorders, this legislation would provide guidance to help create school environments that support students’ overall health and well-being and not perpetuate harm through other initiatives.
  • Bullying in general—and especially weight-based bullying—is a known risk factor for disordered eating and eating disorders in youth.
  • Weight-based bullying and harassment by peers and adults is weight hate in action in schools. We look forward to bringing attention to this and other crucial issues during Weight Stigma Awareness Week to help #EndWeightHate.


Jameela Jamil
Activist and Founder of I Weigh
Jameela Jamil is Founder of activist platform I Weigh, a community of change makers who come together to share ideas, experiences and ultimately mobilize activism. Amplifying the voices of activists from across the globe, I Weigh has inspired industry policy change and legislative action generating awareness to protect the livelihoods of our youth and continue the fight for a radically inclusive world.

The digital platform connects nearly 1.5 million voices in the Gen Z audience through original content, campaign support and advocacy, exploring social issues from the representation of gender in media to cultural trends affecting mental health. A focus since inception, I Weigh is committed to ongoing efforts to make it illegal to promote and sell diet products to minors. Working closely with Instagram and Facebook, Jameela and I Weigh helped shape their global policy change restricting the promotion of harmful products. To further these endeavors, I Weigh is working in collaboration with STRIPED, based at Harvard Chan School of Public Health to promote research, education and advocacy to lawmakers.

Cynthia M. Bulik, PhD, FAED
Founding Director, University of North Carolina Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, Chapel Hill, NC
Clinical psychologist Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D., FAED is the Founding Director of the University of North Carolina Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Professor of Nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also Professor of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Director of the Centre for Eating Disorders Innovation at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

Dr. Bulik received her BA from the University of Notre Dame and her MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed internships and post-doctoral fellowships at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Bulik has developed eating disorders programs in New Zealand, the United States, and Sweden and has active collaborations all over the world. She has published more than 600 papers and chapters on eating disorders. She is author of seven books including Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop, The Woman in the Mirror, Midlife Eating Disorders: Your Journey to Recovery, and Binge Control: A Compact Recovery Guide.

Dr. Bulik has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Eating Disorders Coalition Research Award, the Academy for Eating Disorders Leadership Awards for Research and Advocacy, the Price Family National Eating Disorders Association Research Award, and the Don and Melissa Nielsen Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Eating Disorders Association.

Dr. Bulik is past president of the Academy for Eating Disorders, past Vice-President of the Eating Disorders Coalition, and past Associate Editor of the International Journal of Eating Disorders. She serves on advisory boards of several advocacy organizations and is the founder and co-chair of the Eating Disorders Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium.

She is passionate about advancing the science of eating disorders and translating science for the public. Read more at

Lily O’Hara, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor of Public Health, Qatar University
Dr Lily O’Hara is Associate Professor of Public Health at Qatar University. She is a public health and health promotion educator and practitioner with experience in Australia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Lily has worked on community, workplace, and school-based programs addressing a broad range of health and wellbeing issues. Her research focuses on analyzing oppressive public health approaches to body weight and their inequitable impact on people with larger bodies, and developing ethical, evidence-based, salutogenic public health initiatives for body liberation using the social justice-based Health at Every Size approach. Lily’s research also focuses on developing the critical health promotion competencies of the community, workforce, and institutions.

Athena Nair
Tufts University Student and Body Positivity Activist
Athena Nair is a sophomore at Tufts University majoring in Psychology and Sociology. She spent her middle and high school years at Castilleja School, where she first became involved with The Body Positive in September of 2019. Since then, she has been educating herself and others on body positivity, fatphobia, and radical self-love through social media, workshops, and speaking opportunities. Recently, Athena gave a TEDx talk on body positivity and fatphobia. She spoke with The Body Positive at the National Coalition of Girls Schools 2020 Conference, as well as on NEDA’s panel for the Eating Disorder Prevention in Schools Act (EDSPA). She also serves on The Body Positive Board of Directors. She is passionate about education reform, as well as bettering the world through her activism, music, dance, and theatre.

Joslyn Smith, Moderator
NEDA Director of Public Policy & Community Relations
In her role as NEDA’s Director of Public Policy & Community Relations, Joslyn Smith is responsible for overseeing federal policy initiatives of the organization—both legislative and regulatory—and incorporating state-level work as it relates to combatting weight discrimination. Prior to working for NEDA as a public policy consultant, Joslyn was Director of Policy & Government Affairs for the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA). Previously, Joslyn was Senior Legislative Assistant for the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Public Interest Government Relations Office in Washington, DC where she led federal policy efforts addressing eating disorders and obesity prevention by bringing a Health At Every Size® perspective to policy discussions. For almost two decades, Joslyn has been an outspoken advocate in the eating disorders and Health At Every Size® fields, presenting about and advocating for a reevaluation of misconceptions related to health and weight.

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