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The EDC's Accomplishments

We passed eating disorders legislation into law: 

  • SERVE ACT Passage  

    • In 2021, the bipartisan SERVE Act (H.R. 1309/S.194) was passed into law through the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. 

    • Public Law No: 117-81, Section 701 

    • The SERVE Act expands the age limit to allow active-duty military spouses and children to receive higher levels of care for eating disorders and requires the Department of Defense to issue guidance and regulations to help identify, treat, and rehabilitate servicemembers with eating disorders. 

  • Increased Eaitng Disorders Research Funding: the EDC has successfully included “eating disorders” as a topic area for the Department of Defense (DoD) Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) resulting up to $7 million of available research funding  for eating disorders each fiscal year. 

  • Anna Westin Act Passage 

    • In 2016, the bipartisan Anna Westin Act (H.R.2515/S.1865) was passed into law through the 21st Century CURES Act  

    • Public Law 114-255, Sections 13005-13007 were part of the final bill package, which included: 

      • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health updating published information on eating disorders, incorporating public resources into its obesity prevention programs, and advancing awareness of eating disorders. 

      • Allows the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to facilitate the identification of model programs and materials for allowing and training health professionals on eating disorders. Enhancing education and training on eating disorders for health professionals in an effort to provide early intervention services, appropriate referrals, and treatment services. 

      • Clarification of existing mental health parity law to improve health insurance coverage for eating disorders 

    • This bill marked the first federal eating disorders legislation passed into law – a milestone for our community. 

    • The Anna Westin Act was written to help those affected by eating disorders through education and training of health care professional training, improve eating disorders resources in HHS and clarify mental health parity for eating disorders insurance coverage. 

Work with Federal Agencies:

  • 2021: the Eating Disorders Coalition, along with our partner organizations, National Eating Disorders Association, National Alliance for Eating Disorders, and REDC Consortium met with U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health, ADM Rachel Levine to share policy recommendations the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can take up for eating disorders awareness, education, training, and prevention. 

    • Read our full list of recommendations here. 

  • 2020: EDC successfully advocated for a GAO Report to shine light on DoD’s Lack of Screening and Early Identification for Eating Disorders and Insufficient Access to Care 

    • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report entitled, “Department of Defense: Eating Disorders in the Military,” which examined how the DoD screens, prevents, and provides treatment for eating disorders under the TRICARE health insurance program.  

    • The EDC applauds this effort to examine screening, prevention, and treatment access for eating disorders for military members and their families. However, the EDC finds some of the report’s findings concerning. 

    • Read the full statement here

  • 2019: The Eating Disorders Coalition joined scholars, advocates, and advisors for a convening on March 29 hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health (HHS/OWH) entitled, “How to Talk About Healthy Weight and Healthy Eating: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on Messaging to Promote Healthy Behaviors and Positive Body Image.” This meeting served in part of the implementation of the EDC’s flagship legislation—Anna Westin Act, which passed in 21st Century Cures (P.L. 114-255). An executive summary of the meeting can be found here, and a full report can be found here

  • 2019: Guidance on Implementation of Mental Health Parity to Promote Compliance and Enforcement of Eating Disorders Coverage  

  • 2018: Secured the first HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funded Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders focused on training health professionals to early identify eating disorders.  

    • 5-year commitment for a total of $3.75 million as a part of the implementation of the Anna Westin Act. 

  • 2018: Office of Women’s Health (OWH) increased public awareness of eating disorders  

    • EDC partnered with OWH for National Women’s Health Week that occurs each May.  

      • This partnership has continued each year. 

      • Educated the White House & SAMHSA Assistant Sec. McCance-Katz on needs for implementation of eating disorders awareness.

  • 2018: Department of Labor/HHS/Treasury issues guidance on treatment coverage for eating disorders under mental health parity.  

I am proud that, from its inception, I have been a part of the EDC and the gains we have made in increasing awareness, improving access to care, educating the public and influencing lawmakers. As the founder of the country’s first residential eating disorder treatment facility, I am thrilled that the EDC’s mission to raise recognition about the serious nature of eating disorders, not only a national level but a global one, is being accomplished.”

– Sam Menaged, EDC Board Member, The Renfrew Center