/ 6 April 2021

CAMARINES Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. has filed a measure that aims to raise public awareness of eating disorders.

House Bill 9104 or the proposed Eating Disorders Awareness, Prevention and Education Act  mandates the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Health to provide programs to improve the identification of students with eating disorders; increase awareness of such disorders; and train educators such as teachers, school nurses, school social workers, coaches, school counselors, and administrators on effective ways to prevent eating disorders.

“Eating disorders can lead to death,” Villafuerte said in his explanatory note.

He added that cases of eating disorders had increased in Asian countries like the Philippines, North Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India and Pakistan.

He cited the report of the US National Institute of Mental Health that one in 10 individuals with anorexia nervosa will die of starvation, cardiac arrest, or other medical complications.

The lawmaker expained that anorexia nervosa is associated with serious health consequences including heart failure, kidney failure, osteoporosis, and death.

“Eating disorders usually begin in adolescence and are associated with substantial psychological problems, including depression, substance abuse, and suicide,” he added.