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ANAD Addresses the Growing Need for Inclusive Eating Disorder Care

ANAD Addresses the Growing Need for Inclusive Eating Disorder Care

Diverse doctors illustration

Every 52 minutes, someone dies as the direct result of an eating disorder, a mental illness that affects people of every age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and background. ANAD, the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, is determined to meet the need for inclusive care for some 30 million Americans who are struggling with eating disorders.

On January 25, ANAD officially launched its Inclusive Care initiative, promoting inclusive eating disorder care for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and people in larger bodies. ANAD has partnered with treatment centers across the country to develop guidelines for providing inclusive care, laid out in the ANAD Approach Guide for Inclusive Eating Disorder Care.

Eating Recovery Center, EDCare, and Veritas Collaborative treatment centers are among the first recipients of ANAD’s Inclusive Care Seal of Approval, which will be awarded to eating disorder treatment centers on an ongoing basis. Recipients must demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by meeting the majority of ANAD’s criteria for inclusive care.

“We are proud to call for this standard of inclusive care in the eating disorders field, based on months of research to develop our criteria,” says Lynn Slawsky, Executive Director of ANAD. “We have been working to be more inclusive in our own services, and are excited to support treatment centers and others in our field who are doing the same.”

Black teenagers are 50% more likely than white teenagers to exhibit bulimic behavior, such as binge-eating and purging. Gay men are seven times more likely to report binge-eating and twelve times more likely to report purging than heterosexual men. That’s why ANAD recently expanded its support services to include free, virtual support groups for BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and others struggling with eating disorders.

Inclusion has become central to ANAD’s outreach efforts and will be the theme of the organization’s social media campaign for Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 22-28).

“At ANAD, we strive towards a world in which anyone struggling with an eating disorder is able to recover,” Slawsky says. “Our Inclusive Care initiative ensures that everyone, regardless of their identity, is included in that mission.”

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