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Previous Policy Initiatives


EDC's Requests Included in Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Funding Package

  • Secured $1 million for the training of primary health care providers on eating disorders screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) within the Health Resources and Services Administration.
  • Secured $750,000 under the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for research on eating disorders to improve prevention, identification, and treatment.
  • Encouraging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to diversify its research across all eating disorders, which is a strong step toward a comprehensive understanding of eating disorders.
  • Urging the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to include one question on eating disorders within the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System survey. This language will help identify public health trends, prevalence and inform future interventions for children and adolescents.
  • Continuation of eating disorders as an eligible research topic in the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program within the U.S. Department of Defense. The inclusion of eating disorders as an eligible research topic ensures that eating disorders will continue to be studied among service members, who are estimated to have higher rates of eating disorders than the general population.


EDC's Requests Included in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Funding Package

  • Secured $1 million which will privde training to primary care health professionals to screen, briefly intervene, and refer patients to treatment for eating disorders.
  • Reintegration of unhealthy weight control practices questions inthe Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey.
  • Encouraging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to coordinate and increase eating disorder research funding across NIH Institutes and Centers. 
  • Call for the Department of Defense to submit a report to Congress on current military provider education on eating disorders and barriers to implementing mandatory training to that end. 
  • Eating disorders will continue to be an eligible topic under the Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program.
  • Learn more:


Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Appropriations: The EDC had four requests for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) Fiscal Year (FY22) 2022 Appropriations Package, led by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Paul Tonko (D-NY-20) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07):  (1) provide funding for the Primary Care Training and Enhancement Programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), (2) add eating disorders surveillance questions to the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System (YRBSS), (3) funding for eating disorders research and a creation of an internal task force at the NIH to address the gaps in eating disorders research, and (4) funding for the DoD Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) (Senate only) led by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

Senate Letter  Senate DoD Letter  House Letter 

Recommended Executive Actions for May’s Mental Health Awareness Month: In May of 2021, the EDC helped lead an effort to call upon the White House Domestic Policy Council and the Biden-Harris Administration to create a White House Mental Health Policy Council, an Interagency Taskforce to Meet the Mental Health Needs of Children and Youth in K-12 Education, and more. Read a full description of the requests here.  

Top 6 for the 46th: Eating Disorders Transition Memo for the Biden-Harris Administration: The EDC created Top 6 for the 46th: Eating Disorders Transition Memo for the Biden-Harris Administration. This memorandum outlines six specific eating disorders items the incoming Biden-Harris Administration can accomplish in its first year. To see the full memo, click here


2020 Congressional ScorecardEDC released a Congressional scorecard to help Americans understand what eating disorders-related policies their Representative and Senators supported during the 116th Congress. Access the full scorecard here


HHS Office on Women’s Health Releases Summary Report of Meeting on Eating Disorders and Obesity Messaging: Eating Disorders Coalition joined researchers and advocates for a meeting hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office on Women’s Health (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 was a part of the implementation of the Anna Westin Act, which passed within 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. 

Eating Disorders Coalition Board President Presents at the National Advisory Mental Health Council: The Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy and Action (EDC) Board President presents oral comments today at the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC) 257th Meeting. The NAMHC plays an integral role in advising the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the Director of National Institutes of Health; and the Director of National Institute of Mental Health on policies and programs that support mental health research, research training and other programs of NIH. The full remarks on behalf of the EDC can be read here


HHS/EDC/Harvard University Co-Hosted the First Pediatric Training on Eating Disorders as Part of Anna Westin Act Implementation: On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, the Eating Disorders Coalition and Harvard University’s STRIPED, co-hosted the webinar and e-course “Screening, Symptom Recognition & Referral to Treatment for Eating Disorders in Pediatric Primary Care Settings” in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health for primary care providers serving children, adolescents, and youth adults. The webinar also included a welcome message from U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams. To access the webinar and view the resources, click here

Eating Disorders in the Military GAO Letter: This letter requests that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct a comprehensive study on the Department of Defense’s TRICARE and Military Health System to evaluate the scope, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders affecting military members and their families. Read 2018 House letter.

EDC Authored the First Eating Disorder Congressional Scorecard: The EDC compiled and authored the first congressional scorecard in preparation for the 2018 midterm elections to inform Americans about Members of Congress’ record of support for eating disorders policy. The scorecard reflected how each Member of Congress has supported eating disorders policy during the 114th and 115tth Congress. Each member was assigned a letter grade based on the number of policy items they have led or supported. Click here to view the scorecard


Eating Disorders in the Military Research Funding Letters (FY 2017): Requested that eating disorders be included as eligible for research funding under the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). Funding through PRMRP offers an important opportunity to study diseases like eating disorders that are not well-understood, have few treatment options, and for which military service confers a higher risk. Senate 2017 Letter  & House 2017 Letter 

Letter to HHS on Implementing the 21st Century Cures Act: The 2017 letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urges the commencement of the rulemaking process to implement the historic and bipartisan provisions of the Anna Westin Act that were included in the 21st Century Cures Act. The 2018 letter urges continued implementation of the Anna Westin Act provisions through using existing training and intervention models as examples.  2017 Senate Letter2017 House Letter2018 Senate Letter & 2018 House Letter.

*Please Note: Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Don Young (R-AK) signed on to the final letter, but are not listed on the letter linked above.* 


Mental Health Parity Compliance & Guidance on Eating Disorders Treatment & Training: In 2016, the EDC was involved on The White House Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force to inform their work on mental health parity compliance regarding eating disorders. EDC submitted comments to the task force, as well as follow-up information after participating at a White House meeting with other members of the eating disorders community. The information provided by the EDC aimed to inform the White House, SAMHSA, and HRSA’s about the early identification of eating disorders and also included a presentation developed by The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, which was attached as suggested essential training on identification and assessment of eating disorders for the medical community.   


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): In 2014, we worked with Representative Ted Deutch’s (D-FL) to initiate a “Dear Colleague letter” addressed to CDC regarding concerns with BMI screening practices in schools.” As a result of our advocacy, 24 Members of Congress signed onto the final letter, and CDC agreed to immediately begin making changes to school BMI measurement procedures. 

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): Our Congressional champions communicated with stakeholders at HHS that eating disorders need to be a key part of the essential health benefits (EHB) within the Affordable Care Act. Senator Harkin (D-IA), Representatives Kennedy (D-MA) and Baldwin (D-WI) each wrote a letter or had a conversation with Secretary Sebelius to communicate this message. We communicated directly with HHS to recommend that eating disorders and residential care be specifically included and that medical necessity be defined broadly in EHBs. We had more than 200 advocates write HHS urging the same. We worked in a coalition with over 100 mental health organizations, the Whole Health Coalition, to urge HHS to include residential treatment in EHBs. We worked with HHS to communicate to people about Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plans (PCIPs) and made sure both eating disorders and residential treatment were included in the PCIPs. 


Increase NIH Funding: In 2012, the EDC successfully worked with Congress to insert report language into a funding bill for NIH that urged the agency to expand, intensify and coordinate eating disorders research. Talking Points.

Hold Insurance Companies Accountable: 
In 2011, the EDC initiated the Hold Insurance Companies Accountable Campaign (HICA Campaign) as a response to a number of insurance companies denying treatment for eating disorders. Mental Health Parity requires that any group health plan that includes mental health and substance use disorder benefits along with standard medical and surgical coverage must treat them equally. Through legal and political advocacy, the EDC worked with specialized attorneys and experts in the field in an effort to put an end to such discriminatory and deadly practices. As part of the HICA Campaign, the EDC encouraged those who were receiving treatment denials to share their experiences, write letters to their insurance commissioners, and call their Members of Congress. 


Influence the Implementation of the Affordability Care Act (ACA): Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, which expands health insurance coverage for Americans through state health insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses, and through an expansion of Medicaid for low-income individuals and families. ACA requires these plans to cover a set of essential health benefits (EHB) that include mental health (and substance use disorder) services. EDC advocated that HHS make sure eating disorders are included under the mental health benefit of the EHB. Talking Points.


Clarify Parity for Eating Disorders Coverage: The EDC worked with the Senate and House of Representatives to have letters sent from Members of Congress to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging her to promulgate regulations that specifically state that eating disorders must be covered at parity under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act passed in 2008 (MHPAEA). Talking Points