Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07), a member of the Health Subcommittee, has been named a Champion of Fighting Eating Disorders by the Eating Disorders Coalition, an organization comprised of treatment providers, advocacy organizations, academics, parents of children with eating disorders and people experiencing eating disorders nationwide. Lance was instrumental in passing the Anna Westin Act into law, a bipartisan measure that increased access to care for eating disorders, provided trainings for early identification and intervention from both health professionals and school personnel and provided new resources through the Office on Women's Health to help increase public awareness of eating disorders.
"Eating disorders are a public health challenge too many families have faced. The problem is more widespread than some may know -- 30 million Americans suffer from the serious effects of eating disorders and related health issues. Through passage of the Anna Westin Act and other efforts we are starting to turn the tide. Those is pain now have the greatest support network ever and are receiving treatment at higher rates," said Lance, a member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee.
The 21st Century Cures Act was a major legislative package signed into law under President Obama reforming the public medical research entities and committing more funding to the National Institutes of Health. The package came out of Lance's Energy and Commerce Committee where Lance added the Anna Westin Act as an amendment to the bill.
"Congressman Lance has been an incredible champion for the 30 million Americans and 300,000 people in New Jersey affected by the serious and life-threatening mental illness of eating disorders," stated Dr. S. Bryn Austin, President of the Eating Disorders Coalition for Policy, Research and Action. "The eating disorders community is proud to have such a strong champion that works across the aisle, and particularly the Eating Disorders Coalition is grateful for his leadership in passing and implementing the Anna Westin Act within 21st Century Cures."
The Eating Disorders Coalitions noted at least 30 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder their lifetime and eating disorders are the third most common chronic illness among adolescent females. The organization is also educating the public on the rising rates of eating disorders affecting large numbers of U.S. military personnel.
"We are going to continuing working in a completely bipartisan fashion to address this problem, for young women, service members and all people afflicted," concluded Lance.