Monica Seles BED Awareness

NEDA, BEDA, and Monica Seles

The first drug treatment ever for binge eating disorder (BED) was just approved by FDA a week ago and already we have NEDA, BEDA, and Monica Seles teaming up with the maker of that drug, Shire plc, on a disease awareness program for BED.

Compared to many disease awareness campaigns, this one definitely has merit. Binge eating disorder is a disease that has only recently been recognized. Bias and stigma are widespread. Because of the challenge of gaining access to skilled care for BED, people with the condition are left feeling very isolated and distressed by it. And yet, it is thought to be the most common form of an eating disorder.

It’s especially positive to see the NEDA (the National Eating Disorders Association) and BEDA (the Binge Eating Disorder Association) working together on this campaign. All too often, nonprofits like NEDA and BEDA can find themselves competing for public attention and limited funding resources in a way that helps no one. Perhaps Seles, a renowned international tennis star, can bring more attention to this disease than NEDA and BEDA could dream of doing by themselves.

You can view the opening video in this campaign below. Seles tells a very compelling personal story.

(If your mobile browser won’t display the video, you can find it here on YouTube)

Make no mistake, this is a tricky business. Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) may be the first drug approved for BED, but it has significant downsides that leave us hoping it won’t be the last. While it’s not clear exactly how it will fit into the routine care of people with BED, it’s pretty clear that it will not be a magic pill that replaces the need for psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy.

On top of that, significant risk would accrue from inappropriate prescribing for obesity, for which this drug is clearly NOT indicated, because of serious safety issues.

We hope not to be deluged with drug ads urging us to ask our doctor about Vyvanse. Nonetheless, raising awareness about BED is definitely a good thing to do.

Click here to read more from the Boston Business Journal, here to read more from People, here for the campaign’s consumer website, and here for the campaign’s site for healthcare professionals.

Monica Seles BED Awareness Campaign, image from Shire plc video

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