February 1st, 2019

NDP MPP Jill Andrew to mark proposed Eating Disorders Awareness Week

QUEEN’S PARK — Today marks the beginning of what Jill Andrew, NDP MPP for Toronto-St. Paul’s, has been working hard to get recognized as Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Ontario.

Last fall, Andrew introduced a private member’s bill to help improve the lives of the more than half a million Ontarians living with eating problems and other body-image challenges. If it becomes law, Bill 61 will proclaim the first week of February, Feb. 1 to 7, Eating Disorders Awareness Week in the province.

“Too many people are suffering without support as eating disorders affect the lives of one million Canadians at any given time and continue to claim the lives of an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 Canadians every year,” said Andrew. “As we are inundated with images — like the curated pictures that fill our social media feeds — no one is immune from the pressures to look a certain way.

“It’s important to make sure people of all genders, races, ages, abilities and socio-economic statuses have access to resources relevant to their experience, and it’s important to shine a light on the role things like food and income security can play in eating disorders.”

Bill 61 has already passed second reading with all-party support, and it is now at committee stage.

Andrew will be speaking at events this week to continue building momentum around this critical cause, to raise awareness around eating problems and to foster conversation around body confidence.

“Ontario needs to catch up to B.C., Alberta, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Yukon, and proclaim this Eating Disorders Awareness Week,” said Andrew. “I invite all Ontarians to join me this week in recognizing what I hope will be officially proclaimed Eating Disorders Awareness Week by this time next year.”