Thursday, April 29, 2010

FREED ACT Introduced to Senate

This is big exciting news! Okay so I admit, what I know about how an Act becomes and Act is what I learned from watching Sesame Street with my kids...but I know this is big news.

What I do know is that on April 27th two MN senators and and Iowa senator introduced legislation aimed at fighting and preventing eating disorders in the United States! That is BIG NEWS and it's about time.

Did you know that:
  • The NIH spends about $1.20 in research funding per person with an eating disorder compared with $159 for someone with schizophrenia, which has a much lower incidence rate, said Jillian Croll, director of education, research and program development for the Emily Program, a Minnesota company that offers comprehensive eating disorder treatment.
  • “Most physicians get between zero and two hours of eating disorder education in medical school,” Croll said. “Yet they often are on the front lines of screening or assessing someone with an eating disorder, and they just don’t have enough information.”
  • At the University of Minnesota, about 5.3 percent of students reported struggling with an eating disorder, according to a 2007 Boynton Health Service survey.
The details of the FREED Act are below if you are interested. I'll be sending out a notice to all on my newsletter list. If you want to be on that please comment here and I'll add you or visit my website: to sign up!

See my facebook page to see links to some articles on this.

To confront the growing issue of eating disorders, the FREED Act will:

* Expand research on the prevention of and effective treatment of eating disorders: Coordinates research on eating disorders at the National Institutes of Health and across the federal government, and creates research consortia to examine the causes and consequences of eating disorders, and to develop effective prevention and intervention programs.

* Improve the training and education of health care providers and educators: Authorizes grants to medical, nursing, social work and other health professions schools to train health care providers in the identification and treatment of eating disorders, and grants to train teachers and other educators in effective eating disorder prevention, detection and assistance strategies.

* Improve surveillance and data collection systems for tracking the prevalence and severity of eating disorders: Tasks CDC with addressing the lack of accurate information on the incidence and severity of eating disorders. Requires the development of new methods to accurately collect, analyze and report epidemiological data to ensure that the incidence of eating disorders and related fatalities are better understood.

* Prevent eating disorders: Authorizes grants to develop evidence-based prevention programs and promote healthy eating behaviors and in schools, recreational sports programs and athletic training programs.

* Build on existing reform efforts to ensure that treatment is available and affordable: Creates a patient advocacy program to aid people suffering from these diseases and their families negotiate the health care system. Incentivizes states to ensure that adolescents covered by Medicaid are diagnosed and treated.

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