This is a big eating-disorders news day.

Two major celebrities have announced plans for major projects involving eating disorders -- and one of those celebrities is Oprah Winfrey.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Winfrey's cable network, OWN, will screen a series titled Inside Rehab, set within an eating-disorders treatment facility:

"The eight-episode series will document a group of patients as they undergo a 42-day recovery program. The announcement comes a day after E! announced an eating-disorder miniseries, What's Eating You?, that will air this fall and tackle common as well as bizarre eating problems."

Meanwhile, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, along with co-sponsors Sen. Amy Klobuchar (also of Minnesota), and Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, have introduced the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders (FREED) Act.

Said to be the first of its kind, the bill would require the federal government to expand research into prevention and treatment of eating disorders; improve the training and education of health care providers and educators on eating disorders; improve national monitoring and data collection on the prevalence of eating disorders; take steps to prevent eating disorders by developing evidence-based prevention programs; and provide additional avenues for effective and affordable treatment of eating disorders.

Should this be a federal issue? Could it work? Having spent several years in the grips of one of these disorders, I'm thinking "evidence-based prevention programs" sound like a good idea, because once you start ... it's darn hard to stop. If someone, anyone, had just been able to talk me out of it before I began....


About the Author

Anneli Rufus

Anneli Rufus is the author of many books, including Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto and Stuck: Why We Can't (or Won't) Move On.

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