I am happy to learn about NEDA’s First In-District Advocacy Day taking place today. Over 400 advocates signed up to meet the district staff of their Member of Congress to raise awareness and effect policy change for eating disorders. That’s a lot of people who care about eating disorders using their voices to promote the need for better federal eating disorders policy!
As the sponsor of both the LIVE Well Act (HR 2625) and the Eating Disorders Prevention in Schools Act of 2020, I am especially happy to know so many people will be asking their Representatives to support the latter. If enacted, the Eating Disorders Prevention in Schools Act would encourage schools to include eating disorders prevention within their Local School Wellness Policies—policies used to guide school districts to create supportive school nutrition and physical activity environments—to help prevent disordered eating and eating disorders. The bill would also ensure that mental health professionals are included in the development of Local School Wellness Policies.
Policies like those included in the Eating Disorders Prevention in Schools Act are so important because 30 million people in the United States will be affected by an eating disorder in their lifetime. This issue is especially significant for our nation’s children, with two-thirds of youth in higher weight bodies being at risk for an eating disorder. Each month, one million children engage in risky behaviors in an attempt to control their weight. And with emerging research, we’re learning there’s a strong correlation between food insecurity and eating disorders. With approximately 13 million U.S. children living in food insecure households, it has never been more important for us to encourage schools to recognize warning signs of disordered eating and eating disorders and know how to help students who might be struggling.
I look forward to continuing work with NEDA and you all to get this bill passed, and I want to especially thank MY constituents from North Carolina’s 12th congressional district for sharing with me over the years why eating disorders prevention and policy is important.
While I work on Capitol Hill with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to move this and other important pieces of legislation forward, the most important thing you can do is let your Representatives and Senators know what matters to you.
Whether you met with your congressional office today as part of NEDA’s advocacy day or not, it’s never too late to take action and make a difference! Respond to action alerts, call your Members of Congress, go to their webpage and reach out under the Contact option, attend events in your congressional district and state where your story can be shared.
Your advocacy—which really just means using your voice to help make change—can really make a difference. It matters to me when I hear from my constituents. I work for them, and I want to know what could help make their lives better, or what would have mattered earlier in their lives to prevent some of the struggles they’ve faced so we can try to help the younger generations. Your Member of Congress (and their staff) wants to know the same thing about you!
Keep making your voice heard, so we can work together to prevent eating disorders to help individuals and families impacted by these disorders.
Dr. Alma S. Adams was elected to her third full term representing the 12th Congressional District of North Carolina on November 6, 2018. After winning a special election in November 2014, Congresswoman Adams was sworn in immediately as the 100th woman elected to the 113th Congress. Representative Adams serves on the Committee on Financial Services; Committee on Education & Labor and the Committee on Agriculture. She holds several leadership roles as Chairwoman of the Committee on Education & Labor’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections and Vice Chairwoman to the Committee on Agriculture. Congresswoman Adams serves on the Workforce Protections and Higher Education and Workforce Investment (Committee on Education and Labor); Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations (Committee on Agriculture); Diversity and Inclusion (Committee on Financial Services). One of her outstanding legislative accomplishments is the enactment of H.R. 5363, the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act that permanently provides funding totaling $255 million a year for all Minority-Serving Institutions, including $85 million for HBCUs.