June 8, 2012

Don't sit down!

At least one of these folks will be familiar to you. Great work, Eating Disorders Coalition!


  1. Just wonderful! I stand for the FREED Act because we desperately need the additional research into EDs that the Act would make possible.

  2. I would like to add a couple of cautions concerning the FREED Act. First, as introduced in the House of Representatives, the Act contains a provision that would require insurance companies to pay for any treatments that are included in the Level of Care Guidelines issued by the American Psychiatric Association. Those Guidelines, however, are nearly twenty years old, riddled with outdated criteria, and biased in favor of residential treatment. The Guidelines were proposed in an oral presentation to the EDRS in the early 1990s, accompanied with no justification, no evidence or clinical trial support, no opportunity for public input, and no peer review. The effect of the FREED Act would be to write those Guidelines into the law. The consequence would be that huge numbers of people would likely be siphoned out of family- and community-based treatments and into residential treatment centers. Congress should insist on data showing that the benefits of residential confinement exceed the risks and harms before it enacts such a provision into the law. I don't think it is a coincidence that the EDC is funded, largely, by residential treatment centers who stand to gain financially if the FREED Act were enacted and signed into law.

    Second, the FREED Act would appropriate a huge amount of money for research on eating disorders. While this sounds fine in theory, I, personally, would like to see some indication that the funds would be spent on worthwhile research that will actually afford a high probability of doing good for sufferers. The history of eating disorder research has been spotty, to say the least, for the past several decades. Many studies have been poorly designed and interpreted, leading to the perpetuation of myths, misguided efforts at treatment, and unjustified stigmatization of sufferers and their families. I would like to see the eating disorder profession develop a coordinated research plan based on high quality scientific standards, logic, and collaboration, and present it to the eating disorder advocacy community, including parent and other advocacy groups, for comment. Let's make the research program more transparent, democratic, and accountable. Let's focus on the idea that researchers exist to serve the public, not their own professional agendas. Under the FREED Act, it will be unelected panels of professionals who will set the research agenda without any significant opportunity for participation by the public in establishing research priorities or standards. In these circumstances, it's hard for me to get enthusiastic about throwing more money in the direction of the research community.

  3. Thank you, Laura, for being part of the video and for supporting the FREED Act.