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Supporters say legislation on its way to Whitmer's desk is good news for those with eating disorders

A woman in a red long sleeve light sweater and dark black jeans stands against a pure white wall, she's holding a pale wooden sign that reads "Untamed Nutrition Therapy. In Session. Please Do Not Disturb." Flanking her on the left of the image is a white woven web-like dreamcatcher with light brown beads hanging off the long bits of string that hang from the object. A black bookshelf sits on the other side of her, with numerous books stacked in both a neat and untidy manner on the shelves. A single bright green potted plant has also found a home among the books, its leaves dropping down the shelves.
Michael Symonds
In addition to her practice in Richland, Allison Bone is licensed to practice in other states that already require dietitians to be licensed. She said in these states, she's able to treat a much wider range of individuals than she does in Michigan.

A Richland dietician says new licensing requirements will help ensure patients get care.

A bill that passed last week will have Michigan joining 48 other states in requiring dietitians to be licensed.

The new law will likely expand health insurance coverage.

Richland dietitian Allison Bone specializes in eating disorders. She said insurance companies often refuse to cover treatment from unlicensed dietitians, forcing many people to skip this vital stop on the road to recovery.  

“Oftentimes, we can't even do the psychological work. You know, the person can’t even do the work and therapy until their brain is nourished, until their body is nourished," she said.

Bone added failure to get treatment can have deadly consequences.

“Every 52 minutes, someone dies as a direct consequence of their eating disorder.” 

Michael Symonds reports for WMUK through the Report for America national service program.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023. He covers the “rural meets metro” beat, reporting stories that link seemingly disparate parts of Southwest Michigan.