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

Congressman Tim Murphy to Announce Major Mental Health Reforms

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Chairman Murphy to Announce Major Mental Health Reforms

  Legislation will help families and patients in mental health crisis get access to life-saving care

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 Press Release

“Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18), Chairman of Energy & Commerce Oversight & Investigations, is holding a press conference on Thursday, December 12th at 9:45 a.m. in Studio A of the House Radio-Television Correspondents’ Gallery in the House Visitors Center, room 114 to introduce a legislative package of major mental health reforms.

This highly anticipated legislation comes after a year-long investigation led by HouseEnergy & Commerce Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Murphy into the nation’s broken mental health system. Through his O & I Subcommittee meetings, forums, and hearings, Dr. Murphy’s legislative initiative will address: increasing inpatient and outpatient treatment options; clarifying standards used to commit an individual to medical care; updating legal framework to help families and physicians communicate during crisis; moving towards data-driven, evidence-based models of care so treatment is accessed not through the criminal justice system but the healthcare system.  For more information please contact:  Dain Pascocello,  202.225.2301″

For more information on the year-long investigation led by the HouseEnergy & Commerce Oversight Subcommittee please click

Long-awaited mental health parity rules is out Fri 11/8/13!

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Key Provisions of Final MHPAEA Rule by Erica Stocker of McDermott, Will, and Emery

Regarding eating disorders coverage specifically, the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) released its initial thoughts on Friday afternoon.  EDC notes that while the final rule does not require coverage for residential services, it does require coverage for residential treatment and other intermediate behavioral health services if the insurer or managed care organization (MCO) covers post-acute care services.  As EDC noted, this means that if a plan covers chemotherapy (an example of post-acute care services), then it must also cover residential treatment of eating disorders or substance abuse.  EDC also stated:  “The rule ensures that parity applies to intermediate levels of care received in residential treatment or intensive outpatient settings.”

EDC also notes that the final rule clarifies that parity applies to all plan standards, including geographic limits, family type limits, network adequacy.  This is a positive clarification for eating disorders given the fact that many travel out of state to receive care.  Finally, EDC also expressed encouragement for the final rule’s network disclosure requirements—requiring that MCOs and insurers disclose medical necessity definitions and the process used to construct non-quantitative treatment limits (NQTL)—noting that this has been a significant difficulty faced by those who have been denied coverage for eating disorders.


New rule requires equal treatment for mental illness!

Kelly Kennedy and Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY 12:37 p.m. EST November 8, 2013 (

Friday’s announcement said insurers must charge similar co-payments and deductibles for mental and physical treatments.

WASHINGTON — Five years after the passage of a groundbreaking law establishing equality between mental health care and other medical treatments, the Obama administration announced its final rule Friday defining how that treatment must be provided.

The rule requires insurers to charge similar co-payments for mental health treatment as they would for physical ailments. It also makes clear that deductible and visit limits are generally not more restrictive for mental health and substance abuse care.

“This final rule breaks down barriers that stand in the way of treatment and recovery services for millions of Americans,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Building on these rules, the Affordable Care Act is expanding mental health and substance use disorder benefits and parity protections to 62 million Americans. This historic expansion will help make treatment more affordable and accessible.”

HHS says the rule also includes several other consumer protections, including ensuring that parity is applied to care received in residential treatment and intensive outpatient settings, and clarifying that parity applies to all health care plan standards, including geographic limits and facility-type limits.

About 26% of Americans 18 and older have a diagnosable mental disorder every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

“The rule will really dictate how parity gets implemented,” said former representative Patrick Kennedy, who worked with his father, late senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, on the Mental Health Parity Act. “We need to, most importantly, have the attitudes in the right places that this is something that’s really going to revolutionize care.”

In 2008, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act, which demands that mental illnesses be treated the same as other illnesses. The argument: Those who have cancer are not denied care after 10 visits if they are not healthy; those with depression should also not be denied care if they are not healthy.

The announcement came as Sebelius attended a mental health conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta. Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has long been a proponent of mental health parity and was heavily involved in lobbying for the law.

The rule change announcement was made jointly by HHS and the Treasury Department.

“Americans deserve access to coverage for mental health and substance use disorders that is on par with medical and surgical care,” said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. “These rules mark an important step in ending the disparities that exist in insurance plans and will provide families nationwide with critical coverage and protections that fulfill their health needs.”

Insurers, including the insurance industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans, have argued that it’s too difficult to compare physical illnesses to psychological illnesses in an apples-to-apples way, and they have insisted upon evidence-based guidelines. Mental health experts say they can do that.

The industry also has said the rules could cause premiums to go up. USA TODAY reported Wednesday that there may be an influx of young people diagnosed with mental health issues as they finally gain access to treatment.

However, Kennedy and other mental health experts said, catching those illnesses early may lead to lower costs in the long-term.

Kennedy, who suffers from mental illness, said he expects that the law will help employers save money, because workers will be more productive, and that young people dealing with depression or substance-abuse disorders may get the help they need to allow them to make them productive early-life career decisions.

Also, Kennedy said, improved mental health care will allow mentally ill people with other chronic issues to take better care of themselves.

“I don’t think my liberal mind and bleeding heart will be the reason that this gets implemented,” Kennedy told USA TODAY. “I believe it will be economics.”

But he said everyone in the health system will need to change behaviors to make parity work. Primary-care physicians must ask questions to gain knowledge about a person’s mental health, and then they must understand how to get that person further help. Mental health providers may need to start taking insurance to ensure people have access to care. And insurers will need to be transparent about mental health coverage.

“Doctors check cholesterol and blood pressure, but the notion that in this day and age, they ignore a check-up from the neck up that could make all the difference in all the rest of our health is hard to believe,” Kennedy said. “We’re still stuck in a time warp.”


ANAD Joins the Fight to Stop Michelle Obama’s Appearance on “The Biggest Loser”

Monday, October 21st, 2013

ANAD wishes to thank and BEDA for joining together to spearhead a campaign to dissuade First Lady, Michelle Obama from appearing on “The Biggest Loser” in November. “The stance is that the show is stigmatizing, it promotes dangerous misinformation about health and that appearing on it would substantially harm the message that Mrs. Obama is trying to promote in both her Let’s Move and Drink More Water campaigns.” and BEDA campaign includes:

Thank you again, Binge, BEDA, and Mental Fitness Inc. for creating this initiative, and we are asking our supporters to join us in the fight.  Help us ask First Lady Michelle Obama to cancel her appearance on “The Biggest Loser” and collaborate with organizations that fight weight stigma and promote overall wellness.

“We need to stop attacking and stigmatizing individuals and instead give them the SUPPORT, EDUCATION and TOOLS, and OPPORTUNITIES  to be the healthiest they can be, despite the number on a scale.” Laura Discipio, ANAD Executive Director.

Sign the petition here! To Help Stop First Lady Michelle Obama from Appearing on the Biggest Loser! 

Watch a collaborated  video mash-up produced by Mental Fitness, Inc. with several advocates speaking out on why the First Lady should reconsider her appearance on “The Biggest Loser”.

 First Lady Michelle Obama Please Don’t Appear on The Biggest Loser; Video produced by Mental Fitness, Inc.