New York Takes Action To Prevent Eating Disorders And Monitor Care

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Eating Disorders

New York State Legislature to pass bills that will help in early identification and prevention of eating disorders and improve the quality of care in residential treatment centers.

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One bill mandates the creation of The Child Performers Advisory Board to oversee the development of guidelines and recommendations to ensure that child actors suffering from or at risk for eating disorders are identified and have access to treatment. Appointed by the Commissioner of Labor, along with the Commissioners of Health and Mental Health, board members will also develop recommendations for educational materials to generate awareness and inform actors and models about eating disorders.

The other bill requires the Office of Mental Health to establish regulations for licensing residential treatment centers and support services for adults and children with eating disorders. It also establishes an Advisory Council on Eating Disorders within the Department of Health (DOH) to advise the DOH and other agencies on policy decisions and future direction of eating disorders activities in New York.

"The State has taken steps critical to our work in preventing and advancing quality treatment for eating disorders," said Lynn Grefe, NEDA chief executive officer. "Instead of waiting for severe illness or deaths from eating disorders in the fashion or entertainment industries, New York is being proactive in addressing eating disorders among minors. And, as our families have long advocated for licensing of residential treatment centers, we now have reason to believe that the quality of care for individuals affected with eating disorders will improve in New York State."

Grefe said that the State decision to create the Child Performers Advisory Board to address concerns surrounding child models and actors for the prevention and identification of eating disorders is much needed. Although the Council of Fashion Designers proposed guidelines in February of this year, NEDA and many experts in the field agree that those guidelines did not go far enough to make a meaningful difference in the health of models.

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