Are you enthusiastic and hardworking? Join ANAD’s Junior Board!

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

jb bb 7.25.15

ANAD Junior Board members at the 2015 Bandstand Benefit.

Feb. 25, 2016

Eating Disorders Awareness Week is a great time to start recruitment for one of our favorite programs: ANAD’s Junior Board. Now in its third year, the Junior Board is a group of young people committed to ANAD’s mission. They help plan fundraisers, such as ANAD’s Bandstand Benefit and Giving Tuesday campaign; they create Eating Disorder Awareness Week themes and events; they represent ANAD in their communities by speaking at schools and other organizations; and they manage projects that help ANAD and the eating disorders community.

We want our Junior Board to be as diverse as the populations we strive to help. We welcome and encourage applications from men; people of color; trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people; and all intersections thereof. We want to make sure the board reflects a wide range of experiences and backgrounds.

If you are enthusiastic, passionate, and hardworking, this is the group for you!

Applications are due by March 18. Interviews will be conducted by the end of March, and applicants will be informed of a decision by the end of April.


  • 18-35 years of age and a high school graduate
  • Complete application and interview process
  • Membership fee $100 if employed/$50 for students (contact ANAD if fee is a concern)
  • Attendance and participation of regularly scheduled meetings. Dates for the 2016-17 term will be June 16, Sept. 15, Oct. 20, Dec. 15, Feb. 16, and April 20. Members must make a good-faith effort to attend all meetings, which will be held at the ANAD office in Naperville, Ill. Out-of-state members can participate via conference call or Skype.
  • Committee meetings will be scheduled in between full board meetings.
  • Desire to participate in the JB volunteer events and fundraisers and will actively encourage the support of family, friends and colleagues as well.
  • Commitment to serve on the board for one year.
  • Commitment to join at least one committee and actively participate and communicate.
  • As an ambassador for ANAD, will strive to positively represent the organization in the best possible ways.
  • At least one year of recovery if the applicant has had an eating disorder.

In return, ANAD promises to:

  • Provide members the opportunity for meaningful and rewarding service to our mission and our community.
  • Provide members the opportunity for significant professional development and social networking.
  • Provide members with information and tools to help them be effective members.
  • Be diligent in making the best possible use of assets members make available to us, whether those assets be money, time or resources.

To apply, download an application here (PDF or Word document), and e-mail it with a resume to Molly McClure, Applications can also be mailed to ANAD, Attn: Junior Board, 750 E Diehl Road, Suite 127, Naperville, IL 60563.

Ask your representative to support Anna Westin Act

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Jan. 21, 2016

*Updated Jan. 26

Virtual Action Day has been changed to Jan. 28, and on that day, ANAD needs you to call your representative to ask them to support the Anna Westin Act. If you live in Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, or Wyoming, click here to find your representative and get a script of what to say. Help us pass this crucial legislation! Make your voice heard and plan to pick up the phone on Thursday.

Giving Tuesday is one week away!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Now in its fourth year, Giving Tuesday was started as a global day to give back to our communities. GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season and year-end campaigns. This year, you can help relieve the pain of eating disorders by donating a Building Block of Recovery: Support, Educate, and Connect:

building blocks JPG 2015

  • Support: A $25 donation maintains our network of support groups
  • Connect: A $50 donation goes to our helpline and e-mail
  • Educate: A $100 donation pays for a school presentation

On Tuesday, we will share the story of support group leader Holly Curtis, who credits ANAD for her more than 20 years of recovery. Holly’s story emphasizes how vital ANAD’s free programs and services are, and how you can directly help someone with their recovery.

You can select one Building Block, or, even better, stack the blocks to give someone the best chance at recovery. Watch this video to learn more about Giving Tuesday, and commit to donating a Building Block of Recovery on Dec. 1. You can also get a head start by donating at today.

Energy at MOM March and Lobby Day felt electric

Friday, November 6th, 2015

By Kitty Westin

On Oct. 27, Mothers Against Eating Disorders, the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, and the Eating Disorders Coalition joined forces with 11 co-sponsors and 43 partners to bring approximately 300 people to the west lawn of our nation’s Capitol. The goal was simple: to bring attention to eating disorders. The second annual MOM (Mothers and Others) March on Washington brought people from across the United States and as far away as Australia to send a clear message to Congress and the public that eating disorders are serious illnesses that deserve attention. The passionate group that gathered together raised their voices, listened to empowering speeches, told their personal stories and supported each other. They came to Washington, D.C., determined to tell their stories and expected that their voices be heard, and I don’t think anyone left disappointed. The overall message of the rally was we need to pass the Anna Westin Act because too many are suffering, too many are dying, and we can make change happen. Organizer Cherie Bilby Monarch said, “The only way things will change is for voices to unite and organizations to collaborate.” I can safely say that our day on the west lawn united voices and organizations in an amazing and powerful way.

Kitty Westin speaks at Lobby Day Oct. 28. Photo by Kathleen MacDonald, Eating Disorders Coalition

Kitty Westin speaks at Lobby Day Oct. 28. Photo by Kathleen MacDonald, Eating Disorders Coalition

Following the MOM March, over 200 citizen activists stayed in Washington to attend the fall Eating Disorders Coalition Lobby Day on Oct. 28. We were lobbying for speedy passage of the Anna Westin Act (HR 2515 and S1865). The AWA of 2015 is the first eating disorders legislation to receive bipartisan support at introduction in over a decade. The enactment of the Anna Westin Act will improve care for eating disorders by providing training for physicians, health professionals, school personnel, and the public as well as treatment coverage by clarifying the Mental Health Parity Bill that was passed in 2008. The House version of the bill also addresses “truth in advertising” by asking the FTC to conduct a study on the impact of using digitally altered photographs in advertisements. The results of Lobby Day are truly impressive. Voices were heard loud and clear and 10 new members have signed on as sponsors of the bill in the first week. We are getting much needed Congressional hearings and just yesterday Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) championed a bipartisan amendment to include the provisions of the AWA in Rep. Tim Murphy’s (R-PA) comprehensive mental health reform bill, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2646).

I think I speak for all who attended the MOM March and Lobby Day when I say: There is an energy around the Anna Westin Act that feels electric! I have hope, I believe this will happen, and I am grateful to everyone who attended the events both in person and virtually. Our champions in the House and the Senate are working hard and have prioritized getting this done. I am proud to be one of the “warriors” with boots on the ground working toward a day when there are trained professionals, parity is enforced and we know the impact that Photoshopping has on our young people.


Anna Westin Act awaiting vote in Congress

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

The Anna Westin Act is still waiting for a vote in Congress. The legislation was introduced by EDC champions Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) last spring.  The bill is named after Anna Westin, a young Minnesotan who committed suicide as a direct result of her battle with anorexia in February 2000. Since that time, Anna’s family has turned their grief into something positive by founding the Anna Westin Foundation and working to ensure that tragedies such as Anna’s are prevented in the future.

The legislation is a comprehensive eating disorders bill that addresses the “Three T’s” – Training, Treatment and Truth in Advertising.  It will help those affected with eating disorders get the treatment they need and deserve. Specifically:

  • Training – Using current HHS funds, the bill would help train health professionals, school personnel and the public on how to identify eating disorders, and how to help prevent the development of behaviors that may lead to eating disorders.
  • Treatment – The bill would clarify the mental health parity law to include residential treatment service coverage, affording the same protections as other illnesses.
  • Truth in Advertising – The legislation would require a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, studying whether regulation is needed for digitally altered images of humans in advertising, and if so, strategies to achieve such regulation.

You can read the Senate bill, S1865, here, and the House version, HR2515, here. The House version includes a section requesting a Truth in Advertising report from the Federal Trade Commission, but that section isn’t included in the Senate bill, which will require reconciliation before passing into law.

Call Congress to urge them to pass this act. Each call makes a big difference.

Senate contact information

House contact information



Join ANAD at second MOM March Against Eating Disorders

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

ANAD is honored to attend and support the MOM March Against Eating Disorders for the second year. ANAD executive director Laura Discipio invites you to join her in the heart of Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27 to support and represent everyone who has been personally affected by an eating disorder.

Eating disorders can be isolating for individuals as well as families, and the march is the perfect time to realize you’re not alone. Other people have been where you are and can empathize with you. They know how it feels to celebrate milestones like trying a new food or restoring weight instead of graduating from school or starting a new job. They know how eating disorders affect entire families and turn lives upside down.

ANAD believes it’s important to come together as a mass to share these stories about the struggles individuals and families face on the journey to recovery. We hear from thousands of people each year, and although they are all unique, there are similarities in their stories—having to travel out of state to access treatment, fighting with insurance companies for benefits, going to extreme lengths to pay for treatment—in some cases, taking out a second mortgage or filing for bankruptcy.

We hear on our helpline all too often about the bureaucracy families encounter at a time when all of their energy should be focused on recovery. It’s not fair parents have to fight the system at the same time they’re worried about saving their child’s life. It’s not fair they have to take out second mortgages in order to pay for treatment. ANAD also receives a lot of requests for information, so we know far too many misconceptions still exist about eating disorders. Too many people don’t know the symptoms of eating disorders or how important it is to seek treatment immediately. Too many people struggle to have their insurance company cover their treatment. Too many people are dying when we can do something to prevent it.

They deserve better. We all deserve better.

We must demand change from Congress because we are more powerful as a group than individually. We will raise our voices to share heart-wrenching stories of the struggles of finding treatment and ask Congress to act to prevent more unnecessary pain and suffering.

That is why ANAD continues to support the MOM March. We have to let our representatives in Congress know this is a crisis with a solution, which starts with passing the Anna Westin Act. We need more research funding to identify the causes of eating disorders and create new treatments. We need to train more educators, physicians and health care professionals on how to identify eating disorders and intervene to have the best chance at a full recovery. We need to hold insurance companies to the promise in the Mental Health Parity Act of coverage for residential treatment.

ANAD will continue to support the march and encourage our volunteers and supporters to call their representatives to ask them to vote “yes” on this bill. It’s way overdue. More than 30 million Americans struggle with eating disorders, which have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, yet receive a fraction of the research funding and media attention of other illnesses. It’s time for change.

So attend the march. Lobby your officials. Let them know you hold them accountable for their vote.

Raise your voice. Be heard.


Like our new Facebook page for binge-eating

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

ANAD has created a new Facebook page dedicated to binge-eating disorder. We envision this as a place to share articles and blog posts, have question-and-answer sessions with experts, and discuss the resources and tools available to help with recovery from BED. There are still many misconceptions about this most common eating disorder that we hope to dispel with this community.

Head over to like the page and join the discussion about weight stigma and weight bias.

Volunteers Needed for Research

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Click here for information on participating in a research project.

ANAD Bandstand Benefit to showcase powerhouse performances

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

The second annual Bandstand Benefit, sponsored by Insight Behavioral Health Centers, is just a couple of weeks away! Be sure to join us at 7 p.m. July 25 at the Lincoln Tap Room, 3010 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, for a night of music, dance, and comedy. The theme “Recovery Rocks” celebrates how amazing life is in recovery from an eating disorder. Too often, eating disorders can numb individuals and take over their lives so there’s no room for creativity, and the Bandstand Benefit was designed to showcase the outstanding abilities of people who have rediscovered their gifts in recovery.

bandstand benefit poster 2015IMG_2654“When people struggle with eating disorders, they often lose so many pieces of their life, including hobbies and outside interests,” said Laura Discipio, executive director of ANAD. “One aspect of recovery is reclaiming the creative part of their identity. The Bandstand Benefit is a unique opportunity to enjoy all of this talent in one place.”

Tickets are $15 at the door. You can RSVP and find more information on Facebook.

Generous donations from the following organizations will be up for raffle and auction:

Alex and Ani, Arcada Theatre, Avon, Benihana, Bob Chinn’s Crabhouse, Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Bears, Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Marriott Naperville, Chicago Sky, Chicago Wolves, Comedy Sportz Theatre, Cooper’s Hawk Winery, East Bank Club, Elate Salon, Eli’s Cheesecake, Fannie May, Frost Gelato, Giordano’s, Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood Palms, iFly, It’s a Bling Thing, Jeans and a Cute Top Shop, Kane County Cougars, Kernel’s Gourmet Popcorn, Lake Geneva Canopy Tours, Little Luxuries, Lou Malnati’s, Lucky Strike, Maggiano’s, Marc Jacobs, Mercadito Hospitality, Milk Handmade, Miz Mooz @ Kicks Shoes, Morton Arboretum, Museum of Science and Industry, Music Box Theatre, Naperville Running Co., Otterbox, The Peace School, Porchlight Theatre, Q BBQ, Raging Waves Waterpark, Second City, Shedd Aquarium, Skyzone, Timeline Theatre Company.

All proceeds will benefit ANAD’s mission of advocating for the development of healthy attitudes, bodies, and behaviors. ANAD promotes eating disorder awareness, prevention, and recovery through supporting, educating, and connecting individuals, families, and professionals. ANAD’s school outreach program has helped educators address eating disorders as well as empowered students with knowledge about body image and wellness.

A victory for eating disorders treatment in Missouri

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Getting treatment for an eating disorder will soon be a little easier in Missouri. Gov. Jay Nixon has signed into law legislation requiring insurance companies to consider people’s mental health needs, not just their weight, when determining what treatment will be covered. According to state Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, this is important because “The patient going through eating disorders would be in a hospital or a residential treatment facility, and once they reach a certain, ideal weight then they were dismissed, or perhaps maybe their organs had started functioning at a certain level, then they were dismissed,” said Pearce.

Pearce says without mental health treatment, patients can relapse.

“We have seen patients who have declined, and some who have even died,” he said.

“What this does, it basically says they will be treated on the mental side. It also says these patients will receive treatment that’s recommended by the American Psychiatric Association, which does include almost all aspects of eating disorders,” Pearce told Missourinet.

Nixon said, “Like many mental health problems, a person suffering from an eating disorder may have no outward signs of their struggle. By requiring insurance companies to consider the comprehensive health needs of these individuals, and not just their weight, we can help Missourians struggling with these disorders receive the care they need to recover. I want to thank Sen. Pearce and Rep. Frederick for their work to bring this issue to the forefront and get this lifesaving legislation to my desk.”

This is encouraging news for everyone struggling with an eating disorder in Missouri. Next, Anna’s Law!