I just returned from the annual National Eating Disorders Association conference in Minneapolis, where I saw many of our allies in advocacy and treatment. I was so pleased to see EDC friends there, like Kathleen MacDonald and Kitty Westin.
I flew home in a fine mood, feeling very optimistic and energized, but a conversation on the plane reminded me of why the EDC's work matters in the lives of real people who may never know our name.
The gentleman sitting next to me was a Minnesota dairy farmer on HIS way to an agricultural Lobby Day. On hearing about my work he nodded knowingly. He has lost his health insurance because on changing insurers the new company decided his BMI was too high. His doctor says he is in excellent health, he is robust and active, but his height/weight ratio doesn't fit into the insurer's chart. This man is being forced into eating behaviors that are not healthy for him, and questioning his own habits and thoughts. I was struck by the ways anyone sitting together in a plane might be connected by issues of healthcare, mental health, parity, and the intersection of health and weight.
Lobby Day is in two days, and I am unable to attend this time - to my great regret. Thank you to all of those who will be there making a difference. We are all affected, we are all connected, and what you are doing MATTERS.
Laura Collins, Virginia