Eating disorders

Food addiction is a behavioral addiction characterized by a cluster of chemical dependencies to specific foods or food in general in which there develops a physical craving for these foods (usually rich in fats and sugars), activating the gratification system. Other feeding and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, are public health issues increasingly spreading, for their early onset and complex multifactorial etiology.

The experience of the healthcare professionals highlights the importance of providing an early, structured and multidisciplinary intervention for these conditions because, if not treated adequately, they tend to present a subcontinuous and chronic trend, increasing the risk of permanent harm to all organs and systems of the body that, in the most serious cases, can lead to patient death.

The National Centre for Addiction and Doping developed, upon support of the Ministry of Health, the mapping of local health services for the treatment of eating disorders and provides the updates of the eating disorder website  piattaformadisturbialimentari. This website reports the local health care services mapping and geolocalization.

Nutrition and eating disorders

Nutrition and eating disorders are public health issues of increasing importance, both for their spread and for their increasingly precocious onset among the young people of the population.

To avoid risks for the population, the Ministry of Health has published documents to provide practical management tools for individuals with these problems.

The Ministry has entrusted the National Center for Addiction and Doping of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità with the project: "Nutrition and food disorders: the territorial mapping of centers dedicated to treatment - MA.NU.AL.".

Activity that aims to create the mapping of territorial resources, for the treatment of nutrition and food disorders.

The platform (in Italian) has been online since January 2022 and can be reached at:

In addition, the "Guide to local services for the treatment of nutrition and food disorders (updated December 2021)" (only evailable in Italian) was published, a useful information collection system that facilitates access to facilities, facilitating early intervention.

This guide, updated to December 2021 is a mapping of the Italian health services for the care and treatment of Feeding and Eating Disorders. The guide represents a useful system to collect information that facilitates access to these services and early intervention. This national-based survey and the uniform methods for gathering homogeneous and comparable data are the platform that can guarantee the best levels of access and appropriateness of the intervention to citizens affected by these diseases and their families.


Dependencies Eating disorders