Friday, January 9, 2015

National Eating Disorder Information Center (NEDIC) Action

January 9, 2015

Meryl Bear, M.Ed.
Director, NEDIC
National Eating Disorder Information Center
ES 7-421, 200 Elizabeth Street
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C4

Dear Meryl Bear,

Recently you have heard, on Twitter and Facebook and via email, from members of International Eating Disorder Action (IED Action) about concerns we have with your recently unveiled “Zero Calories” awareness poster. It may be helpful for you to understand that our mission at IED Action includes being a watchdog for outdated information and promoting the dissemination of evidence-based information.

We believe that societal viewpoints that consider eating disorders to be disorders of choice, vanity and family dynamics instead of brain-based, biological illnesses negatively impact early diagnosis, access to aggressive, appropriate level-of-care treatment and research funding parity.

We are hopeful that you will be open to a dialogue with us as we are both puzzled by the Zero Calories campaign and concerned over the amount of outdated information we found as we explored your website; we are also troubled by the contention that eating disorders are preventable as there is no evidence to show that to be true.

As you know, the last few years have seen an explosion in research findings surrounding eating disorders. For so long eating disorder treatment and practice was based on the psychosomatic family illness model and that has informed much of the content we see on your site.

We do have new information now and we need to use that information to promote early diagnosis, access to aggressive, appropriate level-of-care treatment and research funding parity. We have to operate with caution when we share information about eating disorders.

We ask that you undertake a review of your site’s content and your mission of awareness by using these guidelines to vet the content.

A review should entail assessing the following:

·      Is there solid and current evidence the statements in this piece are true? Are there citations to verify this?

·      Is there a possibility this piece is reinforcing myths and disproven stereotypes?

·      Does the information in this piece represent solid research or anecdotal evidence?

·      Does the information in this piece promote evidence-based treatment?

·      Does the information in this piece empower parents/carers to help their loved one or does it disempower them by blaming them (even inadvertently) for the eating disorder?

·      Does the piece state that eating disorders are preventable (there is no evidence for this yet)?

Adopting an editorial policy such as that outlined above, combined with encouraging dialogue and discussion without a defensive posture, should lead to positive changes which fulfill the ideas of providing hope to those whose lives are touched by eating disorders.

We are happy to connect by phone or email to hear your thoughts and discuss a timeline for changes; both Mirror-Mirror and Eating Disorder Hope are advocacy and awareness organizations that have made substantial and helpful changes after considering our feedback and we hope you will be moved to do the same.


International Eating Disorder Action
Web:  www.iedaction.weebly.com
Twitter:  @IEDAction
FB: groups/ iedaction.global, iedaction

Admins: Evelyn Cohen
Amy Cunningham
Tabitha Farrar
Jennifer Denise Ouellette
Lisa Springer

No comments :

Post a Comment