State Senators Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Pat Browne (R-16) are co-prime sponsors of a resolution to recognize February 24 through March 1, 2020 as National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
“Eating disorders exist across the broad spectrum of age, race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomics, and are marred by misunderstandings and misconceptions,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “This issue affects over 30 million Americans and has escaped our attention for far too long. It is my hope that this resolution brings that much needed attention to the devasting reality and prevalence of eating disorders.”
“Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and they affect the lives of people across all backgrounds,” said Sen. Browne. “Unfortunately, signs and symptoms of eating disorders are often overlooked and friends and family of those suffering from an eating disorder are frequently unaware of how devastating these disorders can be. We have learned from eating disorder experts that prompt, intensive treatment significantly improves the chances of recovery. Understanding this, it is vital that we help shine the spotlight on eating disorders, how to identify early warning signs and what can be done to help those suffering get the treatment and help they need. I am pleased to co-sponsor this resolution with Senator Santarsiero to increase the awareness of this devastating disorder.”
In 2019, Sen. Santarsiero introduced Senate Bill 324, which would require schools to annually provide educational information on eating disorders to parents with children in 5th through 12th grades. To announce this legislation, Sen. Santarsiero hosted a press conference in the capitol with Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, Joey Julius, former Pennsylvania State University football kicker, and guests from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).
“The goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is to shine the spotlight on eating disorders and put life-saving resources into the hands of those in need. It is estimated that over 500,000 Pennsylvania residents are currently struggling with an eating disorder, which are serious and potentially life-threatening mental illnesses,” said Chevese Turner, Chief Policy and Strategy Officer for NEDA. “NEDA is grateful to Pennsylvania Senators Browne and Santarsiero for their support in bringing attention to this important campaign.”