Update: Eating Disorders PSA: A New Act to Help Prevent Disordered Eating in Schools

The Eating Disorders Prevention in Schools Act of 2020 (Eating Disorders PSA) was first introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in early May. The act would encourage schools in the U.S. to include eating disorders prevention as part of their local school wellness policies.  These policies are used to guide school districts to create school nutrition programs and physical activities to help prevent disordered eating and eating disorders, with a goal of improving the overall health of children. The bill would also ensure that mental health professionals are included in the development of local school wellness policies. The bill was introduced by Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO). Rep. Adams noted that once passed, the Act will provide students with education and will create screening opportunities for detecting eating disorders. She added, “As students across the country face disruptions, stress, and anxiety due to COVID-19, all of which exacerbate mental illnesses like eating disorders, the need for this legislation grows increasingly clear.”  The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

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