Meloni's government intends to strike down on 'Thinfluencers' through fines and imprisonment

 Rome– A new proposed article 580-bis of the penal code will punish ‘thinfluencers’ by introducing fines from twenty thousand to sixty thousand euros and imprisonment of up to two years for those who encourage and facilitate anorexia, bulimia, and other unhealthy methods for extreme weight loss. 

 Fratelli d’Italia wants to introduce more strikes and punishment for the so-called ‘pro-ana’ internet users who often suffer from eating disorders and try to inspire others to adopt the same dangerous weight-loss methods they do and preach unhealthy weight goals.

 The bill was presented on Monday in Palazzo Madama and was first signed by senator Alberto Balboni, who explained that the proposal deals with “a much more serious phenomenon than commonly believed. The accompanying report highlights how about four thousand young people, almost all girls, lose their lives every year for these which are real psychiatric diseases. It is the first cause of death after road accidents for young people under 25. We ask that they be recognized as social diseases because this way it will be easier to do a job in schools."

 Eating disorders are known to be metaphorically and socially contagious, as they carry a strong influence and can spread quickly among young people and can have severe health consequences and be deadly. This is why Balboni wants to punish those who "by any means, even electronically, determine or strengthen the intention of others to resort to conducting suitable for causing or reinforcing eating disorders and facilitate their execution ". If the fact "is committed against a person with a handicapped defense ", a minor of 14 years of age, or " deprived of the capacity to understand and want, the penalty of imprisonment up to four years is applied " and a fine from forty thousand to 150 thousand euros.

 The bill consists of four articles that individually deal with different aspects of the disease to tackle the issue as effectively as possible. Article one “recognizes anorexia nervosa, bulimia, controlled eating disorder and avoidant/restrictive disorder as social diseases." Article three introduces March 13th as a 'National Day Against Eating Disorders' in order to disseminate adequate knowledge and sensitivity among citizens." providing that "institutions and bodies promote the carrying out of studies, conferences, meetings and debates" and "urging young people to face an adequate course of treatment if they should recognize themselves in the typical symptoms of these pathologies".

 Finally, article four establishes “the criteria and methods for preventing access to the so-called pro-Mia or pro-Ana sites, which spread among minors messages likely to represent, due to their content, a concrete danger of instigating food behaviors suitable for causing and spreading" disturbances, "by automatically redirecting the user anonymously to the digital portal www. “. The same article calls for a national and regional “ plan of interventions ” with the objectives of “carrying out an early diagnosis, improve treatment methods for those affected" and facilitate "their integration into school, sports, and work activities, improve the population's health and food education", as well as "activating specific pathways and programs dedicated to training and supporting families of people with eating disorders, especially as regards the psychiatric, psychological and nutritional aspects".