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Letter to Representative Biggert expressing NEA's support for the Eating Disorders Awareness, Prevention, and Education Act of 2007 (H.R. 88)

July 18, 2007

Dear Representative Biggert:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to express our support for the Eating Disorders Awareness, Prevention, and Education Act of 2007 (H.R. 88). We thank you for your leadership in introducing this important legislation to help local school districts address the serious issue of eating disorders.

As you know, millions of children suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating. These disorders impact not only health, but also children's ability to advance educationally. Children suffering from eating disorders often lack concentration and self-esteem and engage in self-destructive behaviors that impede their ability to focus and learn in school. 

Educators who spend considerable time with students on a daily basis are often in the best position to identify children suffering from eating disorders. In many instances, however, educators lack the training and resources to respond effectively to students in need of help. 

H.R. 88 will make available critical resources to help tackle this serious problem. The bill will provide funds for states and local school districts to develop and implement eating disorder awareness and prevention programs. In addition, the bill calls for a national eating disorders public awareness campaign and a study of the effects of eating disorders on educational achievement.

We believe H.R. 88 offers a sensible approach to helping schools deal with the growing problem of eating disorders. We thank you again for your leadership on this important issue and look forward to continuing to work with you on this critical program.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy