GOVERNOR SIGNS HANNON LEGISLATION TO COMBAT EATING DISORDERS INTO LAW
“In American high schools, 30% of girls and 16% of boys suffer from eating disorders, and anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau). “It has the highest death rate of any mental illness, with females between the ages of 15 and 24 dying 12 times more from their eating disorder than all other causes of deaths in that age group.”
A recent study found that between 1999 and 2006, hospitalizations for eating disorders increased most sharply for children younger than 12. It is clear that eating disorder awareness, detection and prevention must start at early ages, and must be addressed in a comprehensive manner.
“New York has already taken a leading role in recognizing the importance of addressing eating disorders by creating and funding Centers of Excellence,” said Hannon. “This law represents the next steps to ensure we do everything possible to be proactive and save lives from anorexia and other eating disorders.”
Hannon’s legislation establishes the Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention Program within the NYS Department of Health, and will promote the awareness of eating disorders and available services, as well as prevent and reduce the incidence and prevalence of eating disorders, especially among children and adolescents.
“We are so grateful for Senator Hannon’s perseverance and commitment to help us fight eating disorders in New York State,” said Lynn Grefe, President & CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association. “He has taken the time to listen to those affected and their families, and it is our hope that this is just the beginning for a serious focus and improved action to address these potentially life threatening illnesses.”
New York State established and funds three Centers of Excellence, also known as Comprehensive Care Centers for Eating Disorders (CCCEDs), that have become a national model:
* Metropolitan New York: New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York Psychiatric Center and Schneider Children’s Hospital of Long Island Jewish Medical Center (Call the toll free hotline at 1-877-669-2332);
* Northeastern New York: Albany Medical Center and Four Winds Hospital of Saratoga (toll free hotline: 1-888-747-4727);
* Western New York: University of Rochester, School of Nursing and Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong Memorial Hospital (toll free hotline: 1-800-700-4673).
The new law takes effect immediately.