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Prosperity Advocates for Critical Eating Disorder Treatment Legislation

Prosperity Advocates for Critical Eating Disorder Treatment Legislation

Prosperity Eating Disorders and Wellness Center meets with Quena Dailey, Constituent Services Representative of US Senator, Tim Kaine

Prosperity Eating Disorders and Wellness Center had the greatest pleasure and opportunity to meet with Quena Dailey, MPhil, MPA. Quena Dailey is the Constituent Services Representative at the office of United States Senator, Tim Kaine.

Quena Dailey was given a tour of our eating disorder treatment facility in Norfolk, Virginia, as we told her more about who we are, what are doing for our community, and discussed particular issues around insurance coverage for eating disorders. We sat down and discussed the two bills we are working towards getting passed that will make a more significant change in the healthcare and eating disorder community. These bills include the Telemental Healthcare Access Act and the Anna Westin Legacy Act.

The Telemental Healthcare Access Act:

• The bill removes the statutory requirement that Medicare patients be seen in person within 6 months of being treated for mental health services via telehealth.
• This bill is consistent with how SUD telehealth services are covered under Medicare.

• Given commercial payors rely heavily on Medicare to make coverage determinations, we want to ensure these artificial barriers are not replicated in other insurance markets.

The Anna Westin Legacy Act:

• This bill would reauthorize the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders to continue training primary and allied health professionals to screen, briefly intervene, and refer individuals with eating disorders.

• The bill would expand the evidence-based SBIRT protocol to the pediatric level.

• It would also build adaptive modules for at-risk communities that experience under-identification, including racially diverse and tribal communities, rural communities, men and boys, military families, veterans, and LGBTQ populations.

Prosperity Eating Disorders and Wellness Center would love to thank Quena Dailey for representing US Senator, Tim Kaine, for taking the time to tour our facility, learning more about who we are and what we do as well as listening to the changes that we are so passionate in working towards for our community!

To shed light on the prevalence of eating disorders in the Black community

Eating disorders DON’T discriminate!

Contrary to the common stereotype of having an eating disorder, eating disorders affect all races, genders, ethnicities, ages, and sexual orientations. The popular culture has deemed the eating disorder stereotype to be a White women suffering with anorexia. This stereotype has resulted in those that do not fall into this stereotype, such as the Black population to receive under-diagnosis, under-treatment, and have the lack to receive help for their disordered eating issues. There are many other eating disorders that exist besides anorexia, i.e., bulimia, binge eating disorder, orthorexia, OSFED, etc. Those besides anorexia seem to be researched the least because they do not fall into the popular culture stereotype that anorexia is the most significant eating disorder.

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week will take place this year during the week of February 21-27th, 2022. With National Eating Disorder Awareness Week falling during Black History Month, it’s time that we shed light on the prevalence of eating disorders in the Black community.

Here are some shocking statistics and facts to support that the prevalence of eating disorders in the Black community are on the rise and need not to be ignored:

1The lifetime prevalence rates found for bulimia in Black Americans is 1.5% for adults, which is slightly higher than the national average of 1.0%.

2. Black LGBs have at least as high a prevalence of eating disorders as white LGBs.

3. Between 2017 and 2020, there was a 216% rise in the number of Black people being admitted to hospital due to eating disorders.

4. When presented with identical case studies demonstrating disordered eating symptoms in White, Hispanic and African-American women, clinicians were asked to identify if the woman’s eating behavior was problematic. 44% identified the White woman’s behavior as problematic; 41% identified the Hispanic woman’s behavior as problematic, and only 17% identified the Black woman’s behavior as problematic. The clinicians were also less likely to recommend that the African-American woman should receive professional help.

Goeree, Michelle Sovinsky and Ham, John C. and Iorio, Daniela, Race, Social Class, and Bulimia Nervosa. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5823.

Henrickson, H. C., Crowther, J. H., & Harrington, E. F. (2010). Ethnic identity and maladaptive eating: expectancies about eating and thinness in African American women. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16, 87-93.

Jackson, J.S., et al. (2004). The national survey of American life: A study of racial, ethnic, and cultural influences on mental disorders and mental health. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res,13,196–207.

Taylor, J.Y., et al. (2007). Prevalence of Eating Disorders among Blacks in the National Survey of American Life. Int J Eat Disord, 40(Suppl), S10–S14. doi: 10.1002/eat.20451

Thompson BW. A Way Outa No Way: Eating Problems among African-American, Latina, and White Women. Gender and Society.  1992;6: 546.

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