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State law would educate parents about eating disorders


In a move that will surely be applauded by health care providers and eating disorder specialists, the House has passed a bill that would require Virginia school boards to keep parents informed about eating disorders.

Under the new law, students' parents would be given guidelines and information about identifying eating disorders and how to seek help for an at-risk child.

The policies would be created by the Virginia Department of Education with the help of the Virginia Department of Health. The bill was put forth by Delegate Richard Bell, R-Staunton, who is a retired coach and special education teacher.

“Eating disorders are one of those things that we as a society don’t talk about very often,” Keam said.

In addition to providing parents with information, the bill would also allow schools to screen for eating disorders by identifying risk factors and behaviors that might make a child prone to an eating disorder.

Kaye Kory, co-sponsor of the bill, says that parents are "the first line of defense," and that they must be adequately educated about how to monitor their children for symptoms.

After being approved by the House last week, the bill--HB 1406--will now move to the Senate.

"We don’t think about it very often; we don’t know a lot of people that may be impacted. But unless we make it a positive proactive awareness, we may never know more about it,” concludes Keam.

Source: Potomac Local