National Eating Disorders Association

Twice a year, advocates come together in Washington, D.C. to influence federal policy, push for change, and educate representatives of Congress about those affected by eating disorders. NEDA has served as a collaborative partner with the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) on these efforts throughout 2017. 

On October 5th, I along with many other advocates shared our own personal journeys and the impact eating disorders have had on our lives. On that day, we represented the voices of the 30 million Americans who suffer from an eating disorder.

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On August 24, 2017, the State of Illinois enacted Public Act 100-0305, which amends the Illinois Insurance Code to afford greater protection to individuals suffering from eating disorders by expanding the mandatory health insurance coverage available to treat such conditions. The law was introduced as HB 1332 by State Representative Laura Fine (Glenview); and after passage in the Illinois House of Representatives, was sponsored in the Illinois Senate by Senator Jule Morrison (Deerfield).  

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NEDA was honored to recognize Hillary Clinton with the Lifetime Achievement Award at our 2017 Annual Gala in New York. Clinton was the very first United States senator to introduce bipartisan federal legislation to provide information and education on the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. Throughout her career, she has tackled the systemic issues that play a role in the eating disorders epidemic and her early, groundbreaking efforts continue to influence policy today. 

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In 2014, I was in the early days of my recovery from an eating disorder, and although it is a very personal experience, I wanted to share my story to help provide hope to others that recovery from an eating disorder is possible. I chose to work with the National Eating Disorders Association’s advocacy program to lead a legislative campaign in my home state of Pennsylvania because I believe that advocates and those in public service can foster change by working creatively to communicate the needs of individuals.

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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. 

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When I was still living with the shame, secrecy, and fear surrounding my history with binge eating disorder (BED), I never could have imagined sitting across from anyone—let alone my Congressman—to share my story.

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I'm joining advocates from across the country on Capitol Hill today and we need your help. We're asking for increased funding for eating disorders research and in just five minutes, you can help amplify our voices.

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We’re working hard to get more money allocated for eating disorders research, but we need your help.

A letter asking for $10 million in funding is circulating around the House of Representatives right now and we need to get YOUR representative's name on it by the end of the day on Friday, March 31.

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When my daughter became sick with a serious eating disorder eight years ago, I found few local resources and limited treatment options. Insurance denied my daughter treatment randomly and often. When we were denied coverage for treatment, I became outraged and she became sicker. I remember thinking, “Is this legal?” Sadly, I learned that while not exactly legal, enough loopholes existed in the system to make denial of treatment possible. Here we were dealing with the most serious, complex, and fatal of all mental illnesses, yet we were unable to get our daughter care.

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The Senate is getting ready to vote on the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, which could have a large impact on the eating disorders community. The bill aims to expand access to mental health services, including eating disorders treatment.

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