FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
David Jaffe, Eating Disorders Coalition,
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States took an important step toward addressing the national emergency of eating disorders when Senators Tom Harkin, Amy Klobuchar, and Al Franken introduced the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders (FREED) Act today.
“The FREED Act is the first legislative effort in the history of the Senate to comprehensively confront the seriousness and deadly threat of eating disorders in the
A coordinated national response like the FREED Act can help the millions of Americans suffering (and, too often, dying) from eating disorders.
“It has been ten years since anorexia killed my daughter Anna,” said EDC Board Member Kitty Westin. “And eating disorders have killed thousands of Americans since then. It’s time for Congress to pass the FREED Act as a critical first step in addressing this national emergency.”
Eating disorders do not discriminate: men and women, all economic classes, old and young are affected. Sadly, eating disorders even touch young children. According to a recent report in the December issue of PEDIATRICS, Official Journal of the
The FREED Act would fund much needed research to better understand eating disorders and provides solutions for prevention, education, screening, diagnosis and treatment. Among other things, the legislation would fund grants to conduct research on treatment efficacy, train health professionals and school personnel to identify and respond to eating disorders, and build on existing reform efforts to ensure that treatment is available to those who need it.
Ten months ago, two days before she was to join the Eating Disorders Coalition citizen lobbying effort on Capitol Hill, a young woman from Pennsylvania named Nicole died in her sleep from her eating disorder. Nicole’s mother sadly states, “If the FREED Act was in place, I might still have my daughter with me today.” Nicole’s aunt, Wendy Bloom, added, “The FREED Act will stop the endless pain for millions of people. It will allow treatment for a disease without the fear of not completing their treatment because their insurance doesn't cover it. It will end the torment and pain of another mother burying her child because she couldn't afford treatment.”
For more information about the FREED Act and/or The Eating Disorders Coalition, please contact:
202-543-9570 or visit www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org.