Bulimia – Supporting Research for Disordered Eating

Contributor:  Leigh Bell, BA, writer for Eating Disorder Hope

Every cup of water begins with a drop, just as raising funds begins with a penny. Any amount of money we contribute to research into the causes of and treatment for bulimia is significant to saving lives and changing attitudes.

Eating Disorder Research

Research is slowly but methodically chiseling away at bulimia nervosa to unearth roots of the illness in genetics and brain chemistry. These findings improve treatment for the illness and deflate myths that bulimia is a choice, result of vanity, or an easy fix.

As a whole, this knowledge is powerful to shift societal stereotypes of bulimia and increase insurance coverage for treatment of the illness.

But research isn’t cheap, and government funding for eating disorder research is very low in comparison to funding for other issues, some of which are not as pervasive nor as fatal as eating disorders.

U.S. federal funding for eating disorder research is $28 million a year (about $.93 for each person diagnosed with an eating disorder). For this everyone is thankful, however, the figure is far lower than government-supported research for other conditions:

  • Alcoholism: $505 million (18 times more)
  • Schizophrenia: $352 million (13 times more)
  • Depression: $328 million (12 times more)
  • Sleep disorders: $187 million (7 times more)
  • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): $105 million (4 times more)

Privately funded research tries to fill in gaps but requires donations, large and small, from the general public – that’s us. We can fundraise and donate to private groups that fund eating disorder research, eating disorder organizations raising money for research, or university-based research initiatives.

GrouptherapyEither way, due diligence is necessary to ensure monies raised to the right place.

Fundraising can go along with larger causes, like walks for the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), which includes research in its mission.

NEDA started six years ago citywide walks in which participants are sponsored. Today more than 65 walks occur annually nationwide, raising over $3 million annually.

Go shopping to support bulimia research by buying through AmazonSmile, Amazon’s charitable initiative in which a portion of your purchase goes to a charity of your choice.

Many eating disorder research programs are involved in AmazonSmile, including the Eating Disorders Research Society.

A kind of quirky way to donate is with Anorexia Bulimia Care (ABC), a United Kingdom nonprofit group that supports eating disorder research. Talk to someone about eating disorders, have them text CHANGE to 70800, and potentially raise more than $7 for ABC’s effort.

Simply remember, every body of water begins with a drop of water.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Have you or your loved ones participated in fundraising for disordered eating research?  What types of activities were done and what were the results?


About the Author:

Leigh BellLeigh Bell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in Creative Writing and French from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is a published author, journalist with 15 years of experience, and a recipient of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism.

Leigh is recovered from a near-fatal, decade-long battle with anorexia and the mother of three young, rambunctious children.


The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders.  These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.  

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors.  If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 3, 2015. Published on EatingDisorderHope.com

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.