Murkowski Co-Sponsors Legislation To Combat Eating Disorders

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) co-sponsored S. 1865, the Anna Westin Act, legislation focused on treating and preventing eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. This bipartisan bill creates training programs for healthcare professionals, school personnel, and the general public to promote the treatment and prevention of eating disorders.

“Only 1 in 10 people with an eating disorder get any help and that needs to change. Early detection, and getting these individuals the treatment they need, can mean the difference between life and death.” said Murkowski. “We have a long way to go with education and awareness but this legislation is a step in the right direction.”

Background: Anna Westin, the daughter of Kitty and Mark Westin, was a young woman who took her own life in February 2000 after years of battling anorexia. She was hospitalized her sophomore year after losing 34% of her bodyweight. At the time her doctor recommended treatment but the Westins were faced with limited options in getting their daughter the help she needed. According the Eating Disorder Coalition, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate out of all mental illnesses. This is largely due to the additional physical damages a poor diet has on an individual.