Congressional National Eating Disorders Awareness Caucus Calls for Study on Eating Disorders

Request Comes During 27th Annual National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

The Congressional National Eating Disorders Awareness Caucus has called on the U.S. Government Accountability Office to "undertake a review of the prevalence, mortality rate and economic impact of eating disorders in the United States." NEDA applauds the leadership of the caucus' Co-Chairs - North Carolina Congresswoman, the Honorable Renee Ellmers and New York Congresswoman, the Honorable Nita Lowey - on this issue.

The call, which comes during NEDA's 27th annual National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness Week), specifically requests that the GAO's examination look into three areas:
• Who and how many people suffer from eating disorders?
• What is the risk of death among individuals with eating disorders?
• What is the economic impact of eating disorders in the United States?

Commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA, "The support of legislators like Renee Ellmers and Nita Lowey is critical to garnering the governmental backing and research needed to move forward our vision of a world without eating disorders. We thank the National Eating Disorders Awareness Caucus for their initiative and their generosity with their time, energy and influence."

In the U.S., 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). If left untreated, eating disorders can damage the brain, liver, kidneys, heart, GI tract, bones, teeth, skin and hair. They can result in serious medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, retarded growth, kidney problems, ulcers and heart failure. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

— About National Eating Disorders Awareness Week —

Themed I Had No Idea in 2014, NEDAwareness Week (Feb. 23 - March 1) is an annual campaign to bring public attention to the critical needs of people with eating disorders and their families. In communities across the country, thousands of people come together to host events to raise awareness about body image and bring national attention to the severity of eating disorders, which are bio-psycho-social illnesses with often devastating - sometimes life-threatening - consequences.

While there is hope and recovery is possible, particularly with early intervention, many people suffer from
the long-term effects of these illnesses. And many people (including doctors) just don't recognize the signs! Research and NEDA program outcomes demonstrate that education and outreach leads to increases in knowledge of resources and help-seeking behavior for those in need of support for an eating disorder.

Concerned for Yourself, a Friend or Family Member?
Free & Anonymous Online Screenings for Eating Disorders at:

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in New York City, is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders. For more information, visit

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For Treatment Referrals, Visit
Or Contact NEDA's Live Helpline: 800-931-2237
Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. (EST)
Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (EST)


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Categories: Legislative Branch/Congress

Tags: Eating Disorders, National Eating Disorders Awaren, NEDA, Nita Lowey, Renee Ellmers

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