Windsor Group Backs New Bill Targeting Eating Disorders

A newly proposed bill at Queen's Park targeting eating disorders is getting the full backing of Windsor's Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association.

If passed, the Combatting Eating Disorders in Ontario Act would require a disclaimer on video or photo advertisements where a person's image has been digitally modified or retouched.

Another key plank of the bill would be a province-wide annual awareness campaign focusing on eating disorders.

Other regulations could also reach into commercial film, television and video to address 'unrealistic and unhealthy' conceptions of beauty.

The bill also proposes fines ranging from $25,000 to $75,000 for those found to be violating the law.

BANA Executive Director Luciana Rosu-Sieza was among those that helped roll out the proposed bill on Tuesday in Toronto, being introduced by Liberal MPP for Etobicoke Centre Yvan Baker.

Rosu-Sieza thinks it's important to put a check on altered and photoshopped models. "We're always exposed to images that we think may be real; however, they're altered in so many different ways our perception of beauty standards that we continuously kind of beat ourselves up that we don't match up to," says Rosu-Sieza

She adds, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness with at least one person dying every 62 minutes as a direct result of an eating disorder. "Although it's not a large population that suffers from an eating disorder, it does have very severe consequences whether it's medical consequences, psychiatric or quality of life."

Windsor's Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association has a number of prevention, treatment and health promotion programs for those dealing with eating disorders and has clients as young as 5 years old.

If you're in need of help you can call BANA at 519-969-2112 or the Community Crisis Centre at 519-973-4435 or CLICK HERE.