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Boulder Teens To Lobby Congress About Eating Disorders

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BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)- A group of Boulder teenagers is going to Capitol Hill to save lives. Their cause: prevent eating disorders.

Studies show eating disorders are increasing in children. Forty-five percent of boys and girls in elementary schools nationwide say they want to be thinner. Nine percent of 9-year-olds say they’ve purged to lose weight.

Last year, Nicole Boice was set to testify on eating disorders before Congress. She had Anorexia.

“Two days before the lobby day she actually died in her sleep and she was only 21. I don’t think most people know you can die from an eating disorder,” said teen lobbyist Gaelyn Teirney.

Teirney is part of a group of Boulder County teens who will travel to Washington, D.C. in Nicole’s memory. They plan to lobby for a bill that would fund research and education. It would also require insurers to cover treatment of eating disorders.

“This is going to save money in the long run. We’re going to save lives and prevent eating disorders from happening,” said teen lobbyist Olivia Raccuglia.

Members of the Boulder Youth Body Alliance mentor others with eating disorders.

“I’ve heard of doctors who say why don’t you just eat. Just go home and eat a bagel,” said Teirney.

“I actually heard this young boy say he wanted to go on a diet and he was in elementary school,” said teen lobbyist Talia Goldberg.

They believe they can change or even save lives and honor the life of Nicole Boice.

“It’s really about her and fighting so no one else has to go through that,” said Teirney.

The Boulder teens leave Sunday for Washington, D.C. The will meet with members of Colorado’s congressional delegation and testify as part of the National Eating Disorders Coalition.

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