“The poor eat better”, what Lopalco, Bassetti and Minelli say

The statement by Agriculture Minister Lollobrigida divides doctors

Do the poor eat better? The statement made yesterday by the Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida who has attracted the arrows of the opposition, also causes discussions among the doctors.

The stage

Sharply disagreeing with what the minister said is the epidemiologist Pier Luigi Lopalco, professor of hygiene at the University of Salento who intervenes directly on social media: “Before shooting it big, consult Istat”, he writes on X posting a table on consumption of vegetables, vegetables or fruit per capita elaborated by Istat in 2022 from which it emerges that the unemployed and the employed eat a lower quantity of these foods than the employed and managers.


Matteo Bassetti intervenes in defense of Lollobrigida instead. “Minister Lollobrigida said something correct and acceptable – the director of infectious diseases of the San Martino hospital in Genoa told Adnkronos -. There was an exaggerated criticism and it’s not a good thing. I imagine he wanted to make a comparison between us and the USA, I’ve been there and it’s true that the most disadvantaged socio-economic classes have access to foods with a very high calorie content because they are generally the ones that cost the least, I’m talking about, explains Bassetti – carbonated and sugary drinks, hamburgers, chips, snacks, generally in the United States if you have 10 dollars it’s easier for you to buy 3 kg of chicken and fries than a good salad.There is an exaggerated critical sense on the part of some towards Minister Lollobrigida and other members of the Government – he adds – If a minister of the previous executive had said the same things, they would have been taken at face value”.

“I believe – concludes the San Martino infectious disease specialist – that the minister’s message was intended to be precisely this: in Italy even those who belong to the less well-off socio-economic classes can still have access to good quality food that perhaps comes from the garden. What that does not happen in other countries”.


An interpretation not shared by Mauro Minelli, immunologist and professor of ‘Fundamentals of dietetics and nutrition’ at the Lum University. “If we were to take Minister Lollobrigida’s words literally – he told Adnkronos – I think we would be faced with a conceptual aberration. In my opinion, in fact, those who cannot afford the best cannot live better, much less eat If then the minister’s reference is to be understood as eating little or eating healthy, it should be noted – underlines the doctor – that the so-called poor often do not have the possibility of choosing, and that the idea of ​​the farmer who cultivates and consumes products from the home garden is certainly linked to a romantic vision, but one that does not adhere to reality.The poor, if they are poor, do not eat well, but eat with difficulty, therefore poverty and healthy eating in my opinion are a contradiction in terms”.

“I would add that it is not written in any Bible that having financial means must correspond to an unruly or dissolute life, made up of food excesses and shameless opulence – continues Minelli – That is why, in the light of these brief reflections, I do not feel share the thought of Minister Lollobrigida, while considering the fact that, perhaps, one’s own personal thought has been expressed more than the position of the Government. But the latter is only a wish”.