Advocacy Goes to the Schools

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
May/June Volume 24, Number 3
©2013 Gürze Books

In March, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed a bill that will direct Virginia schools to provide parental education and screening for eating disorders. This landmark legislation will require that schools send information about eating disorders home to parents annually for all students in grades 5-12 in Virginia. The US Department of Education and the US Department of Health will also develop a “tool kit” to help participating schools perform eating disorders screening.

The idea for in-school screening for eating disorders is the brainchild of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which reasoned that since most schools already do regular health screening, adding an additional screen for eating disorders would involve little additional effort at little additional expense. A second statewide program may follow in New York State, according to Lara Gregorio, manager of NEDA’s STAR Program. Eating disorder school screening legislation was introduced in New York State last year, where it passed the Senate Health Committee and has gained a majority of support in the New York Assembly. 

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