In a post by Fratelli d’Italia published (but deleted after a few hours) on social networks, anorexia, obesity and then more generally eating disorders were included in the list of “juvenile deviations”. Along with them also drugs, alcoholism, smoking, gambling addiction, self-harm, bullying, baby gangs and hikikomori. The list, which has put violent behaviors and pathologies under the same hat, has outraged many, in society, in politics and also in the scientific community.
“When we talk about eating disorders we are talking about pathologies that do not have to do with behavioral choices, customs or social behaviors, but have to do with alterations of the psyche and of the body” he comments Leonardo Mendolicchio, head of the Eating Disorders Operating Unit at Auxologico Piancavallo (Verbania). “Behind the term” deviance “we could read a sort of choice, subjective and personal, in acting or adopting certain behaviors. Eating disorders, as well as the condition of hikikomori, self-harm and gambling addiction, are instead pathologies with which a person manifests psychological suffering, which then also became physical “.
Stop eating, overeating, locking yourself in a room: from some points of view these behaviors are defined as choices, whims, even ways to get noticed. “The post of Fratelli d’Italia reflects a retroculture that is actually present in our country. And that is to think that certain sufferings are actually capricious attitudes: I don’t eat or eat too much because I don’t take care of myself; I lock myself in the room because I want to play videogames all day and avoid studying “, continues the expert.” It is the simplest reading, which somehow removes responsibility.
“Instead, these are conditions of malaise that often arise from trauma, abuse, cultural abuse. The traumas that children can suffer in adolescence are one of the main risk factors triggering eating disorders. We must deal with this, social issues. that determine the suffering of people “.
After years of raising awareness of institutions by associations of family members, patients and doctors, including Mendolicchio himself, a big step forward was made in December 2021 on the subject of DCA. With the approval of the budget law, in fact, not only was a fund established to combat nutrition and food disorders (with an allocation of 25 million euros, divided between the Regions), but the DCAs were also recognized in a separate category in the essential levels of assistance, with an independent budget from that intended for the treatment of psychiatric pathologies (previously they came under the more generic chapter of mental health).
“It is important that we continue along this line, because after the pandemic, when eating disorders have exploded, the next five will also be characterized by an increase in cases” concludes the expert. “Now it would be necessary to evaluate what the Regions are putting in place after receiving the funding, it would take a sort of national control room at the Ministry of Health or the Higher Institute of Health. Then a national epidemiological study should be carried out to really understand how many Italians suffer from these problems and finally make a prevention plan through the school “.