RICHMOND, VA—A recent study shows as many at 12 percent of teenage girls and five percent of teenage boys have eating disorders in Virginia, and now a new state law will put this often hidden epidemic in the spotlight at school.
"Eating disorders are a silent killer, and they very much affect our adolescent population," said Hunter Jamerson with the National Eating Disorder Association.
This week, Virginia became the first state in the county to require schools to educate parent and students in grades 5-12 about eating disorders, the signs and where to go for help.
"If left untreated these can affect every organ in the body and ultimately be fatal," said Jamerson.
The Department of Education and Health must come up with guidelines by July 1, and then the law will be in place in time for the 2013-2014 school year, offering parents resources that could save their child's life.