FY19 Eating Disorders Language Request
Dear Colleague,
Please join us in supporting eating disorders research and the full implementation of programs that will help health professionals identify eating disorders.
Approximately 30 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents; stealing years from their young lives. Of those who have anorexia nervosa 10 to 20 percent will die from their illness. Many of those who suffer with these disorders too often find themselves marginalized and without treatment.
Even after diagnosis, those who have an eating disorder frequently encounter obstacles that prevent them from receiving life-saving treatment. We need to learn more about eating disorders, educate health professionals, teachers, and families so that they can recognize symptoms, and help individuals with eating disorder access the care that they need.
Despite glaring gaps in our understanding of these deadly disorders, research continues to be underfunded and many health providers miss the early signs that could help people with eating disorders access treatment and find the road to recovery.

Recently, Congress showed bipartisan support for improving access to care by passing the 21st Century Cures Act (Public Law 114-255), which included Section 13006 to authorize HHS to support evidence-based training programs that will help doctors, nurses, and others to identify, diagnose, and treat people who need eating disorders care.

The language requests below will support continued research and the full implementation of Section 13006 of the 21st Century Cures Act to help save lives and help millions of Americans realize that recovery is possible.

To join this request, please fill out this form: Please contact Joel Richard (Deutch) at 5-3001 with any questions.


Ryan Costello Chellie Pingree

Member of Congress Member of Congress

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Ted Deutch

Member of Congress Member of Congress

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Letter Text
Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

As you consider the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services (L-HHS) Appropriations bill, we respectfully request that you include report language that supports vital eating disorders research priorities and the implementation of training programs that will help health professionals screen, access, intervene, and refer patients to specialized treatment.

In the United States, over 30 million Americans experience a clinically significant eating disorder during their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Eating disorders are serious and complex mental health conditions that affect individuals of all ages, races, genders, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, body sizes, sexual orientations and have a notably higher prevalence rate in women. In addition, the mortality rate of eating disorders is the highest among mental illnesses, higher than prostate and melanoma cancer, and equal to acute leukemia.

Despite the high prevalence, medical complications and mortality rate, there is currently minimal federal funding for eating disorders research. According to NIH, the average amount of eating disorders research dollars per affected individual was just $0.93, while other diseases like Alzheimer’s and Autism are over $44 per affected individual. Increasing research funding for eating disorders would help advance knowledge on a health condition that is not well-understood, offers few treatment options and affects millions of Americans.

In December 2016, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act (Public Law 114-255) with eating disorders provisions included in Section 13005-13007. Section 13006 authorized HHS to coordinate eating disorder early identification and intervention trainings for health professionals as our primary care health professionals receive little to no training on eating disorders.

Patients suffering from eating disorders are often diagnosed late and have inadequate access to the full continuum of life-saving treatments, including residential treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs. It is critical that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have the tools they need to identify and treat these illnesses. The implementation of Section 13006 holds the promise of recovery for so many Americans and will help reduce healthcare costs and save thousands of lives around the nation.

Committee Report Language for Supporting NIMH Research for Prevention, Intervention, and Innovative treatment for Eating Disorders

“Eating Disorders. — The Committee encourages NIMH to increase funding of eating disorders research, with a focus on applied research in prevention, early identification, and innovative treatment. Eating disorders are a serious mental illness that affects 30 million American during their lifetime and has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness.”

Committee Report Language Supporting the Training of Health Professionals Provisions Pursuant to the 21st Century Cures Act (Public Law 114-255)

The Committee encourages integration of evidence-based trainings for health professionals to screen, access, intervene, and refer patients to specialized treatment for the severe mental illness of eating disorders as authorized under the 21st Century Cures Act (Public Law 114-255) the “Education and Training on Eating Disorders.”

Advancing our understanding of these deadly disorders and promoting early access to care has the potential to save lives, and we respectfully ask for your support.


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