2015 News

December 21-22, 2015

STRIPED Collaborating Mentor in Health Policy Katherine Record, JD, MPH, and Director Bryn Austin, ScD, call for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to regulate the fashion industry to stop coerced starvation and to put an end to “Paris thin” in a new editorial in American Journal of Public Health. Check out Record and Austin’s blogpost in U.S. News & World Report, a feature on the Harvard Chan School website, and interviews with Good Morning AmericaNPRWBUR, and MedicalResearch.com.

December 1, 2015

We all know that working out at a gym is healthy, but what if your gym sells potentially dangerous dietary supplements? Learn more about what you can do with STRIPED’s newest teaching case: Full of Surprises: Dietary Supplements and the Gym, Or, a Tale of Corporate Social Responsibility

November 19, 2015

The manufacturers of muscle-building supplements Jack3d and OxyElite Pro have been arrested by the U.S. Justice Department for using synthetic stimulants in their products. STRIPED director S. Bryn Austin comments on the dangers of tainted supplements in this CBS news article.

November 6, 2015

Dietary supplements and Massachusetts House Bill No. 3471 were featured on the Harvard Chan School’s podcast, Harvard Chan: This Week in HealthListen in at the 5-minute mark to hear STRIPED director S. Bryn Austin weigh in on the dangers of these products.

November 2, 2015

The dangers of dietary supplements made news in the Boston Globe again with this article on supplement use among military personnel and young athletes. Learn more about STRIPED’s Stop Feeding Kids Lies campaign to regulate the sale of dietary supplements for weight loss and muscle building in Massachusetts for youth under the age of 18 years.

October 29, 2015

A dedicated group of STRIPED trainees traveled to Capitol Hill for the Eating Disorders Coalition Congressional Lobby Day in support of the Anna Westin Act, the first eating-disorders specific bill in U.S. history to be introduced in Congress with bipartisan sponsors in both chambers! Legislative advocacy is a crucial skill for public health professionals, and STRIPED trainees experienced the power of advocacy and policy translation as they raised congressional awareness of this important bill as well as the urgent problem of eating disorders.

STRIPED Team at EDC Lobby Day
STRIPED lobbying group –  From left to right: Anvita Kulkarni, Jill Ann Goslinga, STRIPED director Bryn Austin, Katherine Howe, Katie Cueva, Cindy Hu, and Mary Gorski (not pictured)

October 14, 2015

The Boston Globe reports that dietary supplements send at least 23,000 people to the hospital each year. Read this story here and learn more about why House Bill No. 3471 is so important!

October 8, 2015

The Harvard Chan School has published a web feature story on the Stop Feeding Kids Lies campaign, featuring Harvard Chan students Alvin Tran and Mary Gorski! Check out the story here.

HSPH Photo
STRIPED Director Bryn Austin and Harvard Chan School doctoral student Alvin Tran on the Massachusetts State House grounds – Photo by Emily Cuccarese

October 5, 2015

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) awarded us a new grant to support our comparative cost-effectiveness study of eating disorders prevention strategies! We are excited to begin work on this new project and thank NEDA for this wonderful opportunity!

September 22, 2015

The hearing for Massachusetts House Bill No. 3471 on September 17 was a huge success! Legislators, advocates, clinicians, and experts shared powerful testimony in support of this bill, outnumbering our opposition 8:1! Thanks to everyone who has supported this campaign and helped Massachusetts move one step closer to taking real action to protect minors and all consumers from too often dangerous and sometimes lethal dietary supplements sold for weight loss and muscle building!

September 10, 2015

We had a great time at the public briefing for the Stop Feeding Kids Lies Campaign at the Massachusetts State House on September 9!  Thanks to all our speakers, advocates, attendees, and everyone else who helped to put this event together! Stay tuned for more news on this important work!

Advocates Cropped
Advocates and campaign organizers at the Stop Feeding Kids Lies lobby day and briefing at the Massachusetts State House

September 9, 2015

STRIPED is in the Boston Globe! Read about our campaign to protect Massachusetts children and adolescents from deceptive and dangerous dietary supplements sold for weight loss and muscle building. Dan Fabricant, chief lobbyist for the supplements industry, thinks our campaign is “crazy,” but he ignores the rigorous scientific research proving this bill is anything but.

August 13, 2015

Join the Stop Feeding Kids Lies Campaign and support the fight for safer supplements in Massachusetts! STRIPED, the Multi-service Eating Disorders Association, and the National Eating Disorders Association invite you to join our campaign for MA House Bill No. 3471. This is your chance to get hands-on experience in translating public health research into policy action right here in the Massachusetts State Legislature! Learn more about this invaluable opportunity here!

June 26, 2015

STRIPED is turning research into action with a new bill in the Massachusetts state legislature this fall. This bill, written by the STRIPED team in partnership with Massachusetts Rep. Kay Khan, the Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association, and the Eating Disorders Coalition, calls for a ban on the sale of all weight loss and muscle building supplements for youth under the age of 18 years. As research shows that these supplements can be particularly dangerous for young people, this bill demands state action. On September 17, 2015, a hearing for this bill will take place at the Massachusetts State House with a lobby day and briefing held a week before. Stay tuned for more news!

May 13, 2015

With the generous support of the Ellen Feldberg Gordon Challenge Fund for Eating Disorders Research, members of the STRIPED team returned to Capitol Hill to join forces with the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) and other advocates for the EDC Congressional Lobby Day. During the course of the day, STRIPED members met with legislative representatives and staffers to garner support for the Anna Westin Act. This new bill would open up training grants to teach health professionals and teachers about eating disorders and how to intervene and prevent them, encourage the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the deleterious effects of airbrushed photos on body image, and require that health insurance companies provide full coverage for eating disorders treatment. It was an exciting day as STRIPED trainees experienced the power of advocacy and raised congressional awareness to the urgent problem of eating disorders.

EDC lobby day 2015
From left to right: STRIPED Director Bryn Austin, Katherine Heflin, Jill Merrigan, Nadia Craddock, Grace Kennedy

April 22, 2015

Today Phillippa Diedrichs, PhD, from the Centre for Appearance Research in the United Kingdom bridged the distance between the European Union and the United States with her presentation at the Harvard Chan School on her trailblazing academic-corporate partnership with Dove to disseminate evidence-based eating disorders prevention programs on a massive scale throughout Europe. It was an exciting chance to learn more about the inner workings of a partnership between a corporation and public health professionals with the goal of eating disorders prevention.

April 21, 2015

Today STRIPED trainee Allegra Gordon presented her dissertation, Gender Expression, Discrimination and Health Among U.S. Adolescents and Young Adults: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. The presentation included findings from two studies examining the relationships between gender and mental and physical health in heterosexual and sexual minority adolescents and young adults as well as an overview of findings from Project Body Talk, a first-of-its-kind qualitative study of disordered weight and shape control behaviors among young transgender women in New England. This exciting dissertation work was partially supported by the STRIPED Dissertation Award in Eating Disorders Prevention Research. Congratulations to Dr. Gordon!

March 27, 2015

STRIPED is translating research into action! Today, a new piece of legislation, which was written by the STRIPED team and will prohibit the sale of dietary supplements sold for weight loss or muscle building to minors, was filed with the Massachusetts State Legislature. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Kay Khan of Newton, MA, and is a direct result of research and advocacy by the STRIPED team and our community partners, the Multi-service Eating Disorders Association and the Eating Disorders Coalition, on the dangers of these supplements and how to protect young people from unscrupulous marketers. Check out our legislative fact sheet to learn more about what states can do to protect their youth from these harmful supplements.

March 24, 2015

STRIPED Director Dr. Bryn Austin’s letter to the editor was published today in the New York Times. In the letter, Dr. Austin responded to a recent New York Times article on fat talk and called for women and girls to join together to challenge the beauty industry and the toxic ideals it perpetuates.

March 23, 2015

Earlier this month, Dr. Jean Kilbourne, an internationally acclaimed speaker on addictions, gender issues, and the media, presented, “Falling in Love with Food: Advertising and Public Health” at the Harvard Chan School. During her talk, Dr. Kilbourne discussed the food industry’s deliberate exploitation of food addictions and the effects of media on body image and eating disorders in both men and women across the age spectrum. This eye-opening talk, sponsored by STRIPED, the Health Communications Concentration and the Department of Nutrition, reached a wide audience, including students and faculty from across departments and staff from the Longwood Medical Area. Click here to read more!

February 24, 2015

This week’s Sport Science Institute e-newsletter from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) featured the release of our newest STRIPED teaching case, “Weighing the Evidence: One University Takes a Hard Look at Disordered Eating Among Athletes,”with a Q&A between Dr. S. Bryn Austin and STRIPED scholar Dr. Emily Kroshus.  Dr. Kroshus was instrumental in making this teaching case a reality as she wrote the teaching note and was the lead expert in the development of the case story. Through the NCAA e-newsletter, the case will reach athletic trainers, coaches, and others interested in college sport and health from all across the country!

UPDATE: March 10, 2015

STRIPED’s latest teaching case is making waves on campus at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with this article on the NCAA’s promotion of “Weighing the Evidence: One University Takes a Hard Look at Disordered Eating Among Athletes.”

January 16, 2015

This past October, STRIPED trainees and other like-minded groups met with members of Congress and discussed the need for a Dear Colleague letter to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), urging a change in the CDC’s publicized information on BMI screening in schools. Only a month later, that letter was sent to Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC. On January 16, 2015, Dr. Frieden and the CDC responded with a newly created webpage on the Healthy Youth website, which makes good on the changes advocates recommended. The new webpage now outlines safeguards schools should put in place when conducting BMI screenings and also reiterates that there is insufficient evidence that these screenings are effective in preventing or reducing childhood obesity and may in fact be harmful to students. These changes are a direct result of the dialogue between advocates and members of Congress and are an inspiring example of how advocacy can spark action even at the highest reaches of government!