The above attachment is a policy paper I wrote in early 2019 about Eating Disorders (EDs) as a public health crisis, and how policies and population health interventions could be developed to resolve this issue.
EDs are life-threatening medical illnesses that affect millions globally. ED sufferers are at greater risk for mental co-morbidities such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, which can lead to suicide. The public must become aware that EDs are mental illnesses as they have long been falsely stigmatized to be lifestyle choices, which can deter governments from funding ED policy development. As EDs are a major issue that would continue to grow without federal interventions, public health professionals must try to halt the rate of EDs which has had unprecented growth over the past two decades.
Perpetuating factors and potential root causes of ED symptoms include unresolved trauma and PTSD, as they increase stress severity and vulnerability in affected individuals. Political and economic factors, such as job loss from a government shut-down, also create ED risk as they may result in low incomes. This paper will explore all these major factors of ED development and approaches that we can take together to mitigate this issue that has been quietly embedded in society for too long.