Hughes calls on government to develop eating disorder strategy

Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes is teaming up with the National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED) and supporters across Canada to encourage the government to develop a Canadian Strategy on Eating Disorders.

Hughes delivered petitions to parliament in support of her motion, M-117, which calls on the Minister of Health to work with the provinces, territories, and Indigenous communities towards the development of a Coordinated Canadian Strategy on Eating Disorders.

“Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses,” said Hughes. “Children as young as 7 are being diagnosed and hospitalized with eating disorders, and  more than a million Canadians have been negatively affected by their own struggles with eating disorders or those of their loved ones.”

Hughes hopes the discussion will encourage young people to develop critical thinking with regard to current standards of beauty in society and the need to reduce social prejudices about weight. She notes that NIED indicates that there is a leadership gap with respect to eating disorders in Canada.

“They want parliamentarians to understand that the sooner someone receives the treatment they need, the better chance they have for a good recovery,” said Hughes. “ That is why they are calling on the government to support M-117 and to initiate discussions with the provincial and territorial ministers responsible for health and all stakeholders to develop a comprehensive, pan-Canadian Strategy for Eating Disorders, which would facilitate better prevention, diagnosis, treatment, support and research.”