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ACC Anna Westin Act Announcement

Dear Members,

Advocacy Alert from the Advocacy and Communications Committee (ACC)!  Please lend your voice and support the Anna Westin Act of 2015! The Anna Westin Act focuses on training of mental health and medical professionals on early identification, intervention and treatment of eating disorders. It is a zero cost bill as it utilizes existing funds. It has received bipartisan support.

Here’s how YOU can help:

  • Contact your members of Congress to sign on to this Act.  Let them know that you care about eating disorder issues and encourage them to support the Anna Westin Act. For sample letters and guidance in locating your Senator and Representatives visit this website.
  • E-mail copies of your letters to Kathleen MacDonald (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) so that your support can be represented. Letters must be submitted by October 1, 2015
  • If you can’t get a letter done, here are two quick alternatives:

- Feel free to call your Senator and Representative to express support
- Tweet your Senator and Representative: Plz help by signing on2 #AnnaWestinAct. Bipartisan #eatingdisorders legislation. #AnnasLaw will help save lives. TY!

Be a part of history by helping the Anna Westin Act to shift into Anna’s Law. 

Thank you for your help in supporting the Eating Disorders Coalition and this important legislation! 

The Advocacy and Communications Committee

The Academy for Eating Disorders Applauds Missouri’s New Law

14-Jul-2015 3:05 PM EDT

Newswise — AED commends Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to sign into law a bill that specifically defines the guidelines for the coverage of eating disorders. Missouri is now set to become the first state to establish specific parameters insurance companies must follow under the Affordable Care Act regulations. Simply put, this bill defines how eating disorders will be covered by insurance in the state of Missouri.

In 2010, the Missouri General Assembly established the Missouri Eating Disorders Council with the goal of raising awareness, providing education and improving access to care for all Missourians. Insurance Reform legislation was first filed in 2009 and continued being filed every year until its passage this past legislative session. Annie Seal, citizen advocate, who worked on the bill for the past seven years states, “This bill is a landmark bill in that it should serve as a model for other states. This is not a mandate and the bill does not incur costs; it simply defines coverage under Missouri’s current mental health parity law.” Ms. Seal credits devoted and compassionate legislators for filing and supporting the bill over the years, including Senator David Pearce, the bill’s sponsor and Rick Stream, past House Representative and also a sponsor, who continued to fight for the bill after leaving office. According to Senator Pearce, “this bill will save lives and for that we are grateful.”

The measure requires insurance coverage to align with the Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Eating Disorders adopted by the American Psychiatric Association, which includes medical and psychological care. According to the bill, weight can no longer be used as a sole criterion for approving treatment or continuation of care. This will likely be life saving for some sufferers.

Press Release: Increased Fracture Risk For Girls with Anorexia Nervosa

DEERFIELD, Ill. – June 11, 2014 – Results from a newly published study in the July 2014 issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders indicate that the development of Anorexia Nervosa (AN) markedly increased the risk of fractures during childhood and adolescence in girls with AN when compared to those without a history of AN.  Although previously demonstrated in adults, this is the first published study that has examined fracture risk in adolescents with AN. Notably, investigators found increased fracture prevalence even without a significantly lower amount of bone mineral density (BMD), a marker of bone health that is often used to assess fracture risk. The rate of fractures peaked in early adolescence for all girls in the study, but the rate of fractures peaked again in later adolescence for the girls diagnosed with AN, which is not typical in the general population. Amount of exercise was not related to the prevalence of fractures in the AN group. 

AN is known to interfere with healthy skeletal growth, and the clinical course of AN can be variable and marked by periods of recovery and relapse. Given such, the authors conclude that a single BMD measurement during adolescence is unlikely to fully reflect long-term fracture risk. Therefore, repeated BMD measurement, in conjunction with evaluation of other components of bone health, is recommended to better predict fracture risk in girls with AN. Debra Katzman, an author of the study, states, "Anorexia Nervosa (AN) in adolescents has profound consequences on bone health.  Not only are adolescents with AN less likely to reach their peak bone mass, but our study showed that young people are at  increased risk for fracture early on in life reflecting the significant skeletal deterioration that takes place in adolescents with AN.”

This study supports the importance of early intervention and appropriate medical monitoring for girls with AN, and/or a history of AN, to prevent fractures and promote bone health. “It is crucial to diagnose these young people early and provide aggressive treatment for their eating disorder to ensure that they optimize their peak bone mass and recover from these life-threatening illnesses," states Katzman.

This study was a multi-site partnership among specialized treatment centers for Anorexia Nervosa across the United States and Canada.

About the AED

The Academy for Eating Disorders is a global and trans-disciplinary professional organization with more than 1,600 members from 49 countries worldwide. AED provides educational resources and platforms for professional dialogue, training, and collaboration through its publications, including the International Journal of Eating Disorders, annual International Conference on Eating Disorders, clinical teaching days and other programs.  Visit www.aedweb.org for more information.



Press Release: Eating Disorder Organizations Join Forces to Urge Focus on Health and Lifestyle Rather Than Weight

In an unprecedented show of concern, The Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), Eating Disorder Coalition (EDC), International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals (iadep), and National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) have joined forces and are urging focus on health and lifestyle rather than weight as a measurement of well-being.

In late November, media stories reported that an American university implemented a new strategy for combating rising weights by requiring students to be weighed during their freshman year. Those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or over are required either to lose weight or pass an extra course focused on physical fitness. In response to this, and other similar strategies within the global “war against obesity”, national and international eating disorder organizations have joined forces to urge school administrators, employers, and health policy makers to focus more on health and lifestyle for all populations rather than on weight alone.

Eating disorder groups assert that this well-intended, but under-informed and unproven strategy of focusing on BMI fuels weight-prejudice and neglects groups which may be in equal need of improving their health and lifestyle. There is concern that, in some cases, the programs contribute to negative self-esteem, body dissatisfaction and eating disordered behaviors among young people. Neither the scale nor BMI calculation provide the full picture most relevant to health status, such as lifestyle and activity patterns, and physical and mental health measures. Thus, assuming ill health based on weight alone is not only inappropriate but harmful and discriminatory, and should be discontinued.

“There is concern that we have lost sight of avoiding harm in the process of addressing obesity.” AED President Susan Paxton, PhD, FAED states. “Further, we cannot ignore the opportunity to create a healthier environment, where people of all sizes are given the opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives, instead of singling out individual groups for reform based on weight alone”.

Paxton continues, “it is our hope that societies throughout the world can join hands in fighting for healthier lifestyles and increased respect for people of all sizes, thus simultaneously promoting all aspects of health (i.e., physical, social, and emotional) within our communities.”

The AED has developed “Guidelines for Obesity Prevention Programs” (http://www.aedweb.org/media/Guidelines.cfm), which are intended to address the issues illustrated by the above example, and the more global issues in combating rising weights. Additionally, the EDC has developed talking points regarding BMI testing (http://www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org/documents/TalkingpointsBMI.pdf).

Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) is a global professional association committed to leadership in eating disorders research, education, treatment, and prevention. For more information go to www.aedweb.org.

Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) is a national organization focusing on the need to increase prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for binge eating disorder. BEDA is committed to facilitating awareness, high quality of care, and recovery for those who live and those who work with binge eating disorder through outreach and support, education, and resources. For more information go to www.bedaonline.com.

The Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) is a federal public policy organization that works to advance the federal recognition of eating disorders as a public health priority. For more information go to www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org.

International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp) promotes a high level of professionalism among practitioners who treat those suffering from eating disorders by promoting ethical and professional standards, offering education and training in the field, certifying those who have met prescribed requirements, promoting public and professional awareness of eating disorders and assisting in prevention efforts. For more information go to www.iaedp.com.

National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. For more information go to www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.

Press Release: AED Releases Nine Truths About Eating Disorders

The Nine Truths About Eating Disorders is now available in multiple languages. Please scroll down to the bottom of this page to see all available translations.

May 9, 2015- In the face of many myths, the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) releases “Nine Truths About Eating Disorders” in order to clarify public understanding. Produced in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED, who serves as distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Nine Truths” is based on Dr. Bulik’s 2014 “9 Eating Disorders Myths Busted” talk at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Leading associations in the field of eating disorders also contributed their valuable input. “Nine Truths about Eating Disorders” includes key messages such as: many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill; families are not to blame, and can be the patients’ and providers’ best allies in treatment; genes and environment play important roles in the development of eating disorders; and full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. To read the complete “Nine Truths”, click here.

The Academy for Eating Disorders along with other major eating disorder organizations (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, National Eating Disorders Association, The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation, Residential Eating Disorders Consortium, Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action, Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association, Binge Eating Disorder Association, Eating Disorder Parent Support Group, International Eating Disorder Action, Project HEAL, and Trans Folx Fighting Eating Disorders) will be disseminating this document. 

“Nine Truths about Eating Disorders” represents a united effort to raise public awareness. It is anticipated that this document will be a powerful tool for increasing public awareness and understanding about eating disorders, reducing stigma, and ultimately increasing access to specific empirically supported care. According to Dr. Bulik, “The single best way to fight stigma is with truths. These consensus "9 Truths” are the new scaffold on which we will build our advocacy efforts for eating disorders. United around these principles, we can enlighten public understanding about eating disorders and advocate effectively for treatment access and resources.”

Click here to download a copy of this press release.
9 Realidades Acerca de los Trastornos de la Conducta Alimentaria (Español)
NI SANNHETER OM SPISEFORSTYRRELSER (Norwegian)
ÜHEKSA TÕDE SÖÖMISHÄIRETE KOHTA (Estonian)
NEUN WAHRHEITEN ÜBER ESSSTÖRUNGEN (German)
NIO SANNINGAR OM ÄTSTÖRNINGAR (Swedish)
YHDEKSÄN TOTUUTTA SYÖMISHÄIRIÖISTÄ (Finnish)
NOVE VERITA’ SUI DISTURBI DEL COMPORTAMENTO ALIMENTARE (Italian)
Nove factos sobre as perturbações alimentaress (Portuguese)
9 истини за хранителните разстройства (Bulgarian)
DEVĚT PRAVD O PORUCHÁCH PŘÍJMU POTRAVY (Czech)
9 Αλήθειεςγια τιςΔιαταραχέςΠρόσληψηςΤροφής (Greek)
NI SANDHEDER OM SPISEFORSTYRRELSER (Danish)
NEUF VÉRITÉS SUR LES TROUBLES DE CONDUITES ALIMENTAIRES (French)
NEUF VÉRITÉS SUR LES TROUBLES DE L’ALIMENTATION (Quebec French)
关于摄食障碍的九个真相 (Chinese)
摂食障害に関する9つの真実 (Japanese)
KILENC IGAZSÁG AZ EVÉSZAVAROKRÓL (Hungarian)
תשע עובדות על הפרעות אכילה (Hebrew)
9 правдивых фактов о расстройствах пищевого поведения (Russian)
NEGEN WAARHEDEN OVER EETSTOORNISSEN (Dutch)
نه حقیقت در مورد اختلالات غذا خوردن (Farsi)
NAOI BHFÍRIC I DTACA LE NEAMHOIRD ITHEACHÁIN (Irish)
खानपिनको अननयमितताबाट हु नसक्नेनौ तथ्यहर (Nepali)
Dziewięć Prawd o zaburzeniach jedzenia (Polish)
9 ჭეშმარიტება კვებითი დარღვევების შესახებ (Georgian)
YEME BOZUKLUKLARI HAKKINDAKİ 9 GERÇEK (Turkish)

 (Hindi)
غیر متوازن کھانے کی عادات کے نو حقائق (Urdu)