facebook linkedin twitter

Congress Wants to Address Eating Disorders in the Military

August 25, 2021 by Alexa Hornbeck
The mess hall at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Cherry Point, North Carolina. (Photo by Cpl. J. R. Heins II Marine Expeditionary Force)

Congress is looking to expand access to treatment for eating disorders among service members. 

The House and Senate versions of the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act both contain measures that would encourage — but not require — the Defense Department to cover residential treatment centers under Tricare for adults with eating disorders and train leaders to recognize the signs of such behaviors.

The House bill would require the Pentagon to report to Congress on the feasibility of including residential treatment facilities in coverage, as well as the cost, while the Senate bill encourages the DoD to ensure that all resources and facilities are available to treat beneficiaries regardless of age.

.

When it comes to providing treatment to help combat eating disorders in the military, Tricare contractors currently offer 166 eating disorder facilities, with 40 facilities in the West, and 126 facilities in the East. 

However, current and retired service members have offered mixed views about the Tricare and military health system, and indicated that Tricare has failed to cover treatment for things like eating disorders, as they don’t typically meet the requirements for Tricare-authorized providers. 

According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, treatment for eating disorders for military personnel and family members is usually outsourced to other treatment sites because there is not enough staffing at the Pentagon to focus solely on eating disorders. 

Data from the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch also shows that between 2013 and 2017, there were 1,788 active-duty troops diagnosed with an eating disorder, and that rates among military women were 11 times that among men. 

The highest rate of diagnosed eating disorders occurred for females in the Marines, which were twice that of other military service members, followed by the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

There are also findings from the Eating Disorders Coalition, a group of associations, facilities and family members who advocate for eating disorder research, education, and legislation, that military members and their families have a higher prevalence rate of eating disorders than civilian populations, an estimate of 7-8% of all troops.

Military

U.S. Military Commanders Assure Senate They Are Ready for Terrorism

WASHINGTON -- The war in Afghanistan is officially over but the terrorism threat to the United States continues, according to... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The war in Afghanistan is officially over but the terrorism threat to the United States continues, according to military commanders who testified to the U.S. Senate Tuesday. They acknowledged that the chaotic U.S. military withdrawal was disappointing after 20 years of war.  A suicide... Read More

September 24, 2021
by Dan McCue
House Approves Defense Authorization Act With Strong Bipartisan Support

WASHINGTON -- Members of the House might not agree on much these days, but one thing they do seem to... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Members of the House might not agree on much these days, but one thing they do seem to be in agreement on is that passing the annual defense spending authorization falls into the same rarified category as mom and apple pie. On Thursday, the... Read More

Tensions Grow As US, Allies Deepen Indo-Pacific Involvement

BANGKOK (AP) — With increasingly strong talk in support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarines,... Read More

BANGKOK (AP) — With increasingly strong talk in support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarines, and the launch of a European strategy for greater engagement in the Indo-Pacific, the U.S. and its allies are becoming more assertive in their approach toward... Read More

September 22, 2021
by Reece Nations
Biden Discusses AUKUS Partnership with Macron Amid 'Diplomatic Crisis'

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to discuss the United States' new strategic... Read More

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to discuss the United States' new strategic partnership with the U.K. and Australia. Australia is set to construct eight nuclear-powered submarines through its alliance with the U.S. and the U.K., dashing the country's... Read More

September 22, 2021
by TWN Staff
Blue Dogs Endorse Slate of NDAA Amendments to Support US Service Members

WASHINGTON -- The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats has endorsed a slate of amendments to the National Defense Authorization... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats has endorsed a slate of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act.  These amendments include measures that the Blue Dogs contend would strengthen support for U.S. service members as they transition to civilian life; counter the Chinese... Read More

Top US General Holds 'Productive' Talks With Russian Officer

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — The top American military officer held talks Wednesday with his Russian counterpart as the United States... Read More

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — The top American military officer held talks Wednesday with his Russian counterpart as the United States struggles to secure basing rights and other counterterrorism support in countries bordering Afghanistan — an effort Moscow has opposed. The six-hour meeting in Finland's capital between... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top