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Lilac Bow Day

25 March 2021 by Dr Letizia De Mori

Food disorders

Lilac Bow Day

Today March 15th, is the national day of the Lilac Ribbon, dedicated to nutrition disorders and
of nutrition, including anorexia and bulimia. This anniversary has been present for 9 years which it wants to lead to
greater reflection on these disorders. It is an initiative born from the father of a 17 year old girl who a
cause of bulimia he lost his life on this very day. Anorexia and bulimia nervous affect
mostly girls aged between 15 and 19, but the onset decreases every year,
also affecting the male category. Fundamental for this class of disorders is to identify them and
intervene early, as if not treated adequately and promptly, they increase the
risk of permanent damage to the whole organism, which in severe cases can lead to death. In this
long year, characterized by a global pandemic, we have evidence of an aggravation of the disorders
food, especially in adolescents. The pandemic is bringing about numerous social changes e
relational, this predominantly involves adolescents and children who are experiencing the
loneliness, given by the fact that there is no longer the socialization linked to the school environment and activity
physics. Social isolation leads to an increase in eating disorders because the management of emotions
occurs through the food symptom. This symptom can be dietary, caloric or restriction
cognitive, which leads to "cutting" or reducing the total amount of food introduced, or binges (objective or
subjective), which consist in eating a large amount in a short period of time (about 2 hours)
of food with loss of control, i.e. the inability to stop such episodes. In a period in which the activities
outside the home are reduced to a minimum there was a worsening of the concern related to
weight and shape of the body, and of the diet itself, this highlights as the specific symptoms of such
pathology related to the effects of the pandemic create a predisposing environment for the aggravation of
food symptoms. One study (Ramalho, SM, Trovisqueira, A., de Lourdes, M. et al. The impact of COVID-
19 lockdown on disordered eating behaviors: the mediation role of psychological distress. Eat Weight
Disord 2021) published on "Eating and weight disorders" examined 325 subjects with disorders
of nutrition, mainly anorexia nervosa, with the aim of understanding which factors of the pandemic
(isolation, fear of contagion, job loss) caused symptoms to develop and worsen
food. From what emerged, the fear of contagion and isolation caused a worsening of the lesions
eating symptoms, along with reduced social contact with friends and worsening relationships
family members. There are several alarm bells that need to be taken into account as a lot of attitudes
restrictive nutrition, reduction of calorie intake and elimination of certain categories of foods
(often carbohydrates). In addition to these, attention must be paid to the tendency towards isolation, to
excessive weight measurement or avoidance, a tendency to skip meals or sluggishness
to eat. It is essential to maintain a normal weight that allows us to stay healthy and be comfortable with
ourselves, learning to be more flexible and less judgmental with ourselves is the key to good
psychophysical balance.

Dr. Deborah Fasoli

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