Lazio puts the spotlight on eating disorders: “Alarming data, contrast is a priority”

From anorexia to bulimia nervosa, eating disorders, insidious pathologies, affect adolescents more frequently. “In Italy we went from 680,569 in 2019 to 1,450,567 in 2022 with a very strong incidence among young people aged between 12 and 14. The pandemic has aggravated an already very difficult situation. confirming this worrying data is what emerges from the Register of Names of Causes of Death (Rencam) which in 2022 detected 3,158 deaths related to eating disorders, especially in areas characterized by a shortage of care facilities”. Sara Battisti, regional councilor of the Democratic Party and president of the Council Commission for Zonal Plans in Pisana, reels off the data that illustrates a dramatic phenomenon on which it is necessary to turn the spotlight. “Furthermore, a serious critical issue is that of healthcare in the area: half of the Regions, in fact, do not appear to have a complete network of services”, she underlines to Adnkronos Battisti.

“Lazio – continues the regional councilor – is no exception, the data is alarming: a study by Bambin Gesù has highlighted how eating disorders have doubled among the younger age groups. I add another number which highlights the dramatic nature of the topic: the WHO has declared that DCA is the second cause of death for girls between the ages of 12 and 25. It is clear why I hope for immediate interventions in our Region, the health and future of our children are at stake here”.

In Lazio there is now Sara Battisti’s initiative law proposal concerning ‘Provisions for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders’, a starting point to work on, which provides “first of all – explains the regional councilor – a Technical table dedicated to the prevention and treatment of DCA, with the participation of professionals and experts. A multidisciplinary regional network, which would allow an integrated and complete approach. The training aspect is equally relevant: my pl includes training activities aimed at healthcare professionals , to the teaching staff of schools of all levels, to the families of patients, to family caregivers and to volunteers from third sector bodies who deal with DCA. Then a section dedicated to ‘Eating Disorders’ within the regional digital platform data, in order to collect useful information to monitor and address the situation. The Health Commission recently met and it seems to me that there is great awareness of how much the DCA problem represents a priority.”

“I made this text available to the Rocca majority and I appreciated the approach of the group leader Sabatini, of FdI, who shared with me the need to put political differences aside and work on a concrete approach – adds Battisti – Let’s improve the text in the commission and in the chamber, but let’s approve the provision as soon as possible – is the appeal – This is an emergency, we can and must move quickly. I hope we can soon give an answer to too many young people in our region who are in serious difficulty.”

For his part, the group leader of the Brothers of Italy in the Lazio Region Daniele Sabatini, member of the Pisana Health Commission, reiterates how the fight against eating disorders “represents a priority” in the Region. “President Francesco Rocca himself confirmed this by speaking several times on the subject and promising a concrete commitment in this field. A commitment that sees us at the forefront both on a personal level and as a political choice of this regional administration”, explains Sabatini, recalling that last week, to demonstrate the attention of the Regional Council, “a very important hearing was held organized and coordinated by the president of the Health Commission Alessia Savo with all the general directors, or their delegates, of the Lazio Local Health Authorities in order to fully understand the scope of the problem of eating disorders, but above all which and how many financial resources have been allocated and used. We have had an initial interesting picture – he highlights – even if the photograph that has emerged is rather delicate. In fact, all the local health authorities have not yet manage to spend these resources appropriately.”

“We still have time to carry out the necessary projects, and it is also on this that we aim to have a precise picture of the situation, with the aim of being able to adequately regulate the matter. But before intervening at a legislative level – continues Sabatini – it was important to know the state of things from all points of view. Various critical issues were highlighted by the general directors, but also shared objectives between the various local health authorities. In the end we had confirmation that the problem of eating disorders impacts on almost uniform way in all the territories of Lazio, to the point of requiring widely shared strategies. We are pleased to have stimulated, as a group of Brothers of Italy, dialogue on this topic, because only with dialogue can an organization make concrete steps forward compared to such a widespread problem, with numbers that show us every week that the problem is actually much more complex than what emerges from the statistics”. Another moment of discussion last October 19th when in the Regional Council, on the occasion of the conference organized by the Donna Donna Onlus association, all the voluntary associations and non-profit organizations were heard.

Then speaking about the bill proposed by my colleague Sara Battisti, according to Sabatini “the starting point is certainly interesting” but “to arrive at a shared bill, we need to decide what we want to have an impact on and intervene concretely. Battisti’s bill is a good one. proposed law which however addresses the problem of eating disorders from a purely social point of view, but not from the health side. The role of the psychiatrist is not envisaged, nor are there any daytime, residential or semi-residential structures in the area. It is a rule that identifies resources solely on the training front. It therefore has a strong impact on prevention and this is very important, but appears very poor on a health level”.

“A regional council and a majority cannot limit themselves only to giving an initial response, but must provide organic solutions – specifies the Fdi regional councilor – This is what we are evaluating with the discussions underway, with the precious contribution and competence of the president of the Health Commission Alessia Savo. We want to understand how to act to provide comprehensive answers to the problem of eating disorders, what the role of the Regional Council can actually be, what active contribution we can all make together. What can be the points of failure of the regional activity on a topic like this.”

“We can certainly do this by choosing shared methods, with a bill, with a motion, with direct intervention from the council in agreement with all the local health authorities, and also taking advantage of the excellent work that the director of the regional health directorate Andrea Urbani is carrying out on this front. All the sensitivities present in the Council and which have emerged in recent weeks must therefore be put online. I am sure that we will be able to find the synergies and sharing useful to ensure that we can give a univocal answer to a problem whose gravity is perceived by everyone as urgent and priority”, concludes Sabatini.