Eating Disorders Awareness Week Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 32 - Bill 61Skip to content
An Act to proclaim Eating Disorders Awareness Week
Assented to December 8, 2020
Understanding how the development of eating disorders, also referred to as eating problems, and access to treatment and prevention resources are influenced by structural conditions and the social determinants of health is crucial to promoting greater awareness of and providing effective education on eating disorders.
The term eating disorders suggests that disordered eating is solely a mental health and individualized phenomena. Concepts such as “eating problems,” as coined by sociologist Dr. Becky W. Thompson, allows for a more nuanced understanding of eating disorders or problems as responses to sociocultural phenomena.
For example, factors such as visual culture, food and income security, access to housing, access to healthcare, acculturation and mental health supports influence the development, trajectory and treatment of eating disorders.
Education on body-related issues such as size and appearance-based discrimination and harassment, body-shaming and bullying also promotes greater awareness of how these factors contribute to the development of eating disorders.
Common assumptions of who gets eating disorders leave out many complexities. Anyone can develop an eating disorder, and eating disorders impact different people in different ways.
Sharing stories of how populations such as Indigenous, Black and racialized women and girls, immigrants, queer people, transgender people, people with disabilities, fat people, people with chronic illness, men and boys experience eating disorders is crucial to promoting greater awareness of diverse experiences of eating disorders.
Proclaiming Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Ontario makes a powerful statement about the value of building awareness around healthy relationships with our bodies and the need for culturally relevant and responsive resources for treatments, education and prevention of eating disorders.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
Eating Disorders Awareness Week
1 The week beginning February 1 in each year is proclaimed as Eating Disorders Awareness Week.