The following NINE Goals are proposed as a global manifesto to be presented to and acted upon by policymakers and governments to take action on the growing epidemic of eating disorders across the globe. With the highest mortality rates of any mental illness the time for action is NOW. Effective solutions and programs should be markedly scaled up. Health systems must be structured to address early intervention with evidence-based treatment. Communities and providers must be educated on the realities of eating disorders and be able to assure access to services.
These are attainable solutions and we call for systematic review by policy makers and implementation of services to support achievement of the NINE Goals.
- We call for all front line providers (including pediatricians, primary care doctors, dentists, emergency room and school health providers) to be educated in the identification, diagnosis and referral to appropriate services of eating disorders.
- We call for accessible and affordable evidence-based treatment, with early diagnosis and intervention a priority.
- We call for public education about eating disorders to be accurate, research based, readily available and geared to end stigma about eating disorders.
- We call for an end to mandatory weighing and BMI screening in schools, and development of evidence-based health programs.
- We call for increased awareness of diversity in eating disorders, as eating disorders affect a wide cross section of the world’s population, including people of all ages, sizes, weights, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, nationalities, and documentation status.
- We call for community and family eating disorders treatment support programmes to be available for all.
- We call for research-based interventions to be delivered in schools and universities on the facts about eating disorders, and how peers and staff can best support patients and families during treatment.
- We call for government agencies to include eating disorders services as part of health systems, public education campaigns, and regulatory bodies.
- We call for the World Health Assembly and the World Health Organization to formally recognize June 2 as World Eating Disorders Action Day.