Collect eating disorder data through the YRBSS

Prevention, Early Intervention, & Youth
Parity, Coverage, & Equitable Access
social determinants of health
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Coverage & Standards
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Federal department
Health and Human Services
house committees
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senate committees
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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) should once again collect eating disorder data through its Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS).[1]


For over two decades, the CDC collected three questions relating to unhealthy weight control practices, but these questions were removed in 2015.[2] The most recent data is now over a decade old, even though eating disorders are among the deadliest mental health conditions[3], and emergency department admissions for eating disorders have increased dramatically for youth during the COVID-19 pandemic.[4] YRBSS is unique in its national scope and comprehensive behavior data collection in youth across the nation. It is also more representative of the national population, whereas other sources often overrepresent white and higher-income populations. The lack of current data has stymied research into eating disorders and hindered our public health response to recent increases.


1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). Accessed July 13, 2023.

2. Gaffney, Theresa. 2021. A Decade without data: Eating disorder researchers say a gap in CDC survey has left them flying blind. STAT News. Last Accessed December 9, 2021.

3. American Psychiatric Association. What are Eating Disorders? Last Accessed July 13, 2023.

4. Richtel, Matt. 2022. More Teenage Girls With Eating Disorders Wound Up in the E.R. During the Pandemic. The New York Times. February 18, 2022.