ANAD welcomes Junior Board

Monday, June 30th, 2014

ANAD is thrilled to introduce the charter members of our Junior Board of Directors. We are fortunate to have their expertise, leadership and passion advocating on behalf of our mission to prevent and raise awareness about eating disorders. Watch for their contributions on social media and our blog as they share their stories and inspire all of us to accept ourselves and accept others.

Mallory Faye began speaking at middle schools around Illinois at 16, when she learned how much she loved sharing her story of loss and gain from her struggles with anorexia and bulimia. In 2012, Faye co-wrote the song “Something to Live For,” and has traveled nationwide to perform her single and speak about her story. Based in Chicago, Faye works closely with ANAD. She wrote a book, “Be FreED,” on her recovery to instill hope for the struggling.

Ashley Gilday has been a resource person and school presenter with ANAD since 2006. She grew up in Naperville and now lives in Chicago with her husband and a kitty, Maya. Gilday is passionate about making a difference in the lives of others and educating people about food and wellness. Gilday works full time as a business development manager at Daiya Foods. In her spare time, Gilday writes for online publications and creates content for her blog.

Ashley Ice is a student at Aurora University, studying for an MSW degree. Her intended specialization is in the field of eating disorders. Additionally, Ice has accepted a position as a counselor at Center for Discovery, an eating disorder residential treatment center. She has completed a recent internship at ANAD and is now co-leading ANAD support groups for ED recovery.

Samantha Maciaga is a graduate of Benedictine University with a B.A. in psychology and has recently started earning an M.A. in counseling psychology at Trinity Christian College. While an undergraduate student, Maciaga was admitted into inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa. She fully recovered due to the excellent care she received along with her faith and the support of family. She recently accepted a job at Timberline Knolls as a behavioral health specialist. She has a husband, Derek.

Laura Nebor is a student at Illinois State University studying elementary education. She has seen the effects that eating disorders can have on high school and college students and wants to help promote a healthy mind and body lifestyle for her peers. Nebor has brought ANAD to ISU by leading a support group on campus. Nebor’s goal is to spread ANAD to other universities across the country in the hopes that students will learn to love and accept their bodies.

Patrick Noonan is a fourth-year undergraduate psychology student at North Central College. He is working on a research project for the Rall Symposium in which he is analyzing depression and its correlation with the occurrence of dieting and binge-eating behaviors among undergraduate students of various ethnicities. He interned as a member of the crisis-line team at the National Runaway Safeline in 2013. This coming term, Noonan will become a member of an organization focused on mental health advocacy and stigma reduction.

Annie Parks recently graduated with her Master of Library and Information Science degree. She has lived in the western suburbs most of her life and is married with a cat, Spartacus. She’s a fiercely loyal friend who loves learning, art, and language. Some of her interests include reading, sewing/quilting, watching Blackhawks hockey, and learning Korean. She looks forward to life and living without shrinking from what comes, good and bad.

Kaitlyn Pasquinelli graduated in May with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Illinois Chicago. She plans to work with professional dancers, which she was formerly on track to become before choosing graduate studies, or in neurological rehabilitation, where she has experience working with individuals with stroke or spinal cord injuries with locomotor rehabilitation. She would like to make a difference for people with eating disorders and contribute to education, research, and support.

Allison Riggio is the research director at Crain’s Chicago Business. She received her B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and began her career with Crain’s shortly after graduating. She oversees a staff of three and manages the production of data features published annually. Riggio recently began taking classes in the Master of Social Work program at Loyola University. She lives in Chicago with her boyfriend, John, and their two cats, Racine and Rosemary.

Stephanie Schmidt is a student at Marquette University. She aspires to be a nurse so that she can help others the way nurses in the hospital helped her when she had an eating disorder. She likes to run and make collages in her spare time. She wants to educate and raise awareness on her campus about how serious eating disorders are. She is excited to be a part of the board.

Alison Smela is in long-term recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder after living for over three decades struggling with both. She has contributed to magazine articles and co-hosts webinars on the subject of recovery later in life. She serves on the board of MentorCONNECT, the first global nonprofit online eating disorder mentoring community; has a forthcoming book, “Stop. Breathe. Recover”; and maintains a blog, “Alison’s Insights.” She lives in Glen Ellyn with her husband, Matthew.

Zach Stafford is a writer and activist who lives in Chicago. He is a columnist at RedEye and co-edits the BOYS anthology series, which showcases the diverse and powerful stories of queer men all around the world. Stafford is the community outreach coordinator for the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention and Division of Adolescent Medicine at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He obtained his B.A. in women’s and gender studies from DePaul University.

ANAD stands with AED to oppose BMI in schools

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

ANAD supports the Academy for Eating Disorders’ recent statement about the New York Department of Education’s use of BMI and Fitnessgrams in schools. This practice is common across the United States, not limited to New York. ANAD has long opposed using BMI to measure health. Instead, an approach that emphasizes wellness, not weight, would benefit students and communities.

Your Voice is Needed Today!

Thursday, May 1st, 2014




Dear EDC Advocate,

Today you can make a significant difference with just a few moments of your time.


Here's the why and how: 
Seth Matlins, a father of two children ages 7 and 8, saw the negative impacts that deceitful advertisements were having on his children and he and his wife decided to do something about it.  As fate would have it, EDC Board Member Dr. Jaye Azoff is friends with Seth, so she connected him to the EDC.  Seth and the EDC worked with Members of Congress to introduce the Truth In Advertising Act (H.R. 4341) a bipartisan bill that instructs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report on recommendations for a regulatory framework for advertising that uses post-production techniques, such as "Photoshop," to materially change the faces and bodies of people within the advertisements.  Now, with your help, the rest can quickly become history!

In order to get this pioneering piece of legislation passed, we encourage you to use your voice by signing your name to Seth's petition on Then, multiply your advocacy efforts and share the petition with your friends and family via email, Facebook and Twitter.  When you're spreading the word on social media, use #TruthInAds

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
 - Robert F Kennedy

Thank you for using your voice to make a difference!   ~ All of us at the EDC


How to Spot and Help Members with Compulsive Exercise or Eating Disorders

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

How to Spot and Help Members with Compulsive Exercise or Eating Disorders by Laura Discipio (featured in  ANAD’s own Executive Director discusses how to spot and help individuals with compulsive exercise.

For the full article please visit How to Spot and Help Members with Compulsive Exercise or Eating Disorders


New ANAD Awareness Posters

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Help ANAD Distribute Eating Disorders Awareness Posters in Your Community!

ANAD is excited to present our new poster series to help spread eating disorders awareness!  With the help of supporters such as you, we can get these new posters in many schools, fitness centers and college campuses, etc across the country.  Please consider ordering your posters today at!  Posters are FREE, contact us for estimate of shipping and handling fees.  Donations are appreciated to help support this new program.

Cigna exposed for wrongful mental health insurance denials

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Kantor & Kantor, LLP shared “New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman exposes Cigna Corporation for numerous wrongful mental health insurance denials and requires Cigna to reprocess and pay hundreds of claims for nutritional counseling for mental health conditions, including eating disorders, to members who were wrongfully denied access to those benefits.”  Read the full story HERE!

“Parity at work: CIGNA admits wrongful denial of behavioral health claims in New York”  January 23, 2014 by Dennis Grantham, Editor-in-Chief Behavioral Healthcare at  Read the full article HERE!


Video on “Why dieting doesn’t usually work”

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

“Why dieting doesn’t usually work” by Sandra Aamodt

Filmed Jun 2013 * Posted Jan 2014 TED Global213

In this video, Sandra Aamodt tells her personal story to illustrate an important lesson about how our brains manage our bodies and she explores the science behind why dieting not only doesn’t work.

Click Here to watch the video!

Mental Illness Covered in New Insurance Policies

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

APA provisions indicate that new insurance policies will have health services covered for mental illnesses.  This includes individuals with with depression, severe anxiety, eating disorders and other psychological conditions.   Follow the link below to read a detailed article from the Chicago Tribune.

“New insurance policies must cover mental illness”

by Judith Graham 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC (January 9, 2014 Health Section)

Ms. Graham states:  “Mental health coverage offered through the individual market also was notoriously skimpy or nonexistent. Now, anyone who buys a plan through the new online marketplaces will find mental health services covered as one of 10 “essential health benefits” and no lifetime limits on services that will be reimbursed.”

BMI is Bogus

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Top 10 Reasons Why The BMI Is Bogus” by Keith Devlin

This blog from 2009   outlines 10 reasons why BMI is flawed that we wished to share with our supporters.   To read the full blog posting please click (

The blog by Keith Devlin lists his top 10 reasons including:

“1. The person who dreamed up the BMI said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual.

2. It is scientifically nonsensical.

3. It is physiologically wrong.

4. It gets the logic wrong.

5. It’s bad statistics.

6. It is lying by scientific authority.

7. It suggests there are distinct categories of underweight, ideal, overweight and obese, with sharp boundaries that hinge on a decimal place.

8. It makes the more cynical members of society suspect that the medical insurance industry lobbies for the continued use of the BMI to keep their profits high.

9. Continued reliance on the BMI means doctors don’t feel the need to use one of the more scientifically sound methods that are available to measure obesity levels.

10. It embarrasses the U.S.”


ANAD to join Coalition gathering in DC to Discuss Weight Stigma

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 and BEDA announced they are in Phase I of helping the White House better manage their messages regarding the adoption of healthy habits.  Currently they are gathering a group of stakeholders who will gather in Washington, DC in mid-December to discuss where weight stigma is prevalent in the Let’s Move! campaign and where it could pose a problem in future outreach such as work-wellness programs.

Organizations taking a front seat to drive home the message that weight stigma is unacceptable and unnecessary include: the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED),  ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.), the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC), Families Empowered And Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders (F.E.A.S.T.), Kantor & Kantor, LLP, Mental Fitness, Inc.,Residential Eating Disorders Consortium (REDC).

“Professionals from the areas of prevention, policy, program development, research and academia, obesity, movement and mental health have all agreed to work together to provide the highest quality insight and to create meaningful guidance for the White House to work with” stated and BEDA