Congressional Members Call for Eating Disorders Study

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Understanding eating disorders is first step in prevention, treatment and Casa Palmera Treatment Center supports recent request for national study and additional statistics.

Congressional leaders are calling on the federal government to study how eating disorders affect both Americans as individuals and the American economy as a whole.

Congressional members of the National Eating Disorders Awareness Caucus wrote a letter last month calling on the Government Accountability Office to “undertake a review of the prevalence, mortality rate, and economic impact of eating disorders in the United States.” In its letter, the Caucus specifically asks the GAO to research who and how many people suffer from eating disorders; what the risk of death is among those people; and what the economic impact is of eating disorders in the U.S. Answering those questions will give the nation “a better understanding of how individuals, as well as our economy, are affected by eating disorders,” the letter said.

Casa Palmera, a residential behavioral health treatment facility in Del Mar, Calif., applauds the National Eating Disorders Awareness Caucus for drawing attention to eating disorders as a public health issue that affects individuals from all walks of life.

For any illness—whether physical, mental or both—having accurate information and relevant data about the disease is the first step in battling it. Casa Palmera agrees that eating disorders are an underreported and undertreated health issue that affects many people in the United States. Meanwhile, other countries already are tracking, monitoring and researching eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, said Casa Palmera Eating Disorder Consultant and Educator Jessica Setnick, who recently returned from participating in “The Way Forward” eating disorders summit in Scotland.

“Scotland is leaps and bounds ahead of the U.S. in this area,” Setnick said. “Eating disorders and other mental health issues are at the forefront of their public health agenda. They are developing amazing programs for outreach, including high-tech approaches aimed at the younger generations, so that they can promote treatment in the earliest stages of the disease. Casa Palmera has observed that many individuals wait to seek treatment until their symptoms are extremely severe.”

As Congressional leaders wrote in their letter, “The greater understanding that comes with the results of this study will assist in our nation’s ability to prevent, detect, and treat eating disorders throughout the United States.” Casa Palmera agrees that raising awareness about the fact that eating disorders affect individuals of all ages and demographics will help those suffering with one to seek treatment earlier, preventing years of anguish.

Casa Palmera’s team knows that eating disorders are treatable; they see it firsthand every day. The vast majority of individuals who have eating disorders can find relief—and ultimately—recovery through comprehensive treatment. Casa Palmera, which is accredited by the Joint Commission, offers a unique approach to recovery that draws from the best of modern science as well as ancient healing techniques. Casa Palmera’s diverse treatment plans include individual and group therapy, psycho-educational interactive groups, and a wide variety of holistic treatments such as yoga, acupuncture, art therapy, meditation, and massage.

Setnick added, “It’s unfortunate that the cost of human suffering from eating disorders may have to be translated into dollar signs to wake up our healthcare system, but if that’s how it has to be, then the Caucus has the right idea. Let’s get that information on the economic cost so that it becomes obvious that early intervention and treatment is the better option.”

Anyone who is concerned about their own or a loved one’s eating disorder, or who is worried about related behavior, can call Casa Palmera at 866-768-6719 for guidance. Their phone is answered 24 hours a day by trained professionals.

About Casa Palmera

Casa Palmera in Del Mar, Calif., is a residential behavioral health treatment facility that incorporates the language of recovery, philosophy and psychology, as well as integrates fitness, wholesome eating, stress management and spiritual reflection, into its unique program. Casa Palmera specializes in the treatment of alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, trauma and mood disorders, and dual-diagnosis cases.

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Barbara Woods
Casa Palmera
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