Academy for Eating Disorders

Elissa Myers

(703) 626-9087

[email protected]

[email protected]

AED and STRIPED Team Up with Deloitte to Conduct a Comprehensive US Economic Impact Study

November 6, 2019

Newswise — Understanding the economics and the return on investment of treatment and prevention of a health condition are critical to supporting the arguments for allocation of research funding, health services, and insurance coverage for needed care. The Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) and the Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders: A Public Health Incubator (STRIPED) are excited to announce that they have teamed up to collaborate with economic consulting firm Deloitte Access Economics to develop the most comprehensive report to date on the social and economic costs of eating disorders in the United States, representing a significant breakthrough for the field.

Dr. S. Bryn Austin, President of AED and Director of STRIPED, a research and training program based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Boston Children’s Hospital, said, “We have long recognized the compelling need for a comprehensive examination of the social and economic impact of eating disorders in the United States, but conducting such a study has remained elusive until now. Our new collaboration with Deloitte, a global leader in economic research, marks a major step forward toward a fuller understanding of the potential savings – both in terms of costs and lives – that investment in treatment and prevention of eating disorders could bring to our nation.”

According to Lynne Pezzullo, Lead Partner with the Health Economics and Social Policy Practice of Deloitte Access Economics, “The acute physical complications of eating disorders are a concern for family members as well as health services staff. Moreover, they are chronic conditions with substantial long-term physical and social sequelae from which recovery can be difficult. Long-term impacts for people suffering prolonged eating disorders include negative effects on employment, fertility, relationships, and parenting. Existing research suggests that the impact of a person’s eating disorder on home and family life is considerable and that family members may carry a heavy burden over a long period.”

A national advisory steering committee of members bringing expertise in psychology, medicine, epidemiology, economics, decision sciences, policy, and lived experience with eating disorders will oversee the project. Most of the advisors are members of AED with some additional advisors from outside the field to bring unique perspectives to the work. The Deloitte team will have responsibility for the technical economic modeling and for writing a final scientific paper for publication and a full report to release to policymakers, healthcare provider, and community advocates to inform resource allocation decisions related to research funding and health services. Findings of the study will be released at the AED’s International Conference on Eating Disorders in June 2020 in Sydney, Australia.


The Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) is an international professional association committed to the leadership in eating disorders research, education, treatment, and prevention. The goal of the AED is to provide global access to knowledge, research, and best treatment practice for eating disorders. For additional information, please contact Elissa Myers at (703) 626-9087 and visit the AED website at

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives—not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan School teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America’s oldest professional training program in public health. Visit the Harvard Chan School website for the latest newspress releases, and multimedia offerings. For more information contact Nicole Rura at 617.432.6141 or [email protected]

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