The bill is named after Anna Westin, a young Minnesotan who committed suicide as a direct result of her battle with anorexia in February 2000. Since that time, Anna’s family has turned their grief into something positive by founding the Anna Westin Foundation and working to ensure that tragedies such as Anna’s are prevented in the future. For more information on Anna Westin, visit the EDC website.
The legislation is a comprehensive eating disorders bill that will address the “Three T’s” – Training, Treatment and Truth in Advertising. It will help those affected with eating disorders get the treatment they need and deserve. Specifically:
Training – Using current HHS funds, the bill would help train health professionals, school personnel and the public on how to identify eating disorders, and how to help prevent the development of behaviors that may lead to eating disorders.
Treatment – The bill would clarify the mental health parity law to include residential treatment service coverage, affording the same protections as other illnesses.
Truth in Advertising – The legislation would require a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, studying whether regulation is needed for digitally altered images of humans in advertising, and if so, strategies to achieve such regulation.