International Day for the Fight against Eating Disorders

The date, promulgated since 2012, invites us to reflect on how an eating disorder develops. Beauty standards influence self-perception of body image. Breaking beauty stereotypes is essential to prevent new mental disorders and fight for early detection. Hegemonic standards damage and weaken the self-esteem of those who suffer from it.

Exclusively for Bioguide, we talked about this problem with Mara Fernández, Psychologist specializing in eating disorders (MN 36031) who defines ACTs as:

“An Eating Disorder is a mental disorder, in which the mode of food intake is affected. It usually begins at an early age, mainly in adolescence, so it is important to pay attention to possible warning signs. For it to develop, there must be a combination of factors: biological, psychological, social and family ”.

It is necessary, then, to emphasize that these mental alterations generate pathological behavior in the face of food intake and also lead to an obsession with weight control. An important fact is that sex, age and / or social condition are not decisive, since this disease can be suffered by anyone.

“In Argentina, in recent years there has been a worrying increase in the incidence of eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, vigorexia, orthorexia, and alcoholic beverages). According to the data provided by the Association for the Fight Against Bulimia and AnorexiaCurrently, between 10% and 15% of the population suffers from an eating disorder ”added the specialist.

Ms. Mara Fernández assured that frustration and control are triggers to take into account: “People with eating disorders use food and food control as an attempt to compensate for feelings and emotions that are otherwise seen as intolerant. For some, dieting, bingeing, and purging may begin as a way to deal with painful emotions and to feel in control of their personal life. These behaviors damage physical and emotional health, self-esteem and the feeling of competitiveness and control ”, ended.

Achieving a good relationship with food is one of the challenges in these times where restrictive diets and socially imposed models predominate as patterns to follow. Nobody chooses to have an eating disorder, those who go through it often hide the pathology by shame and fear in the face of the prejudiced gaze of society.

Similarly, in pursuit of a favorable recovery requires an interdisciplinary approach depending on the person and context. Thus, in coordination with health professionals: nutritionist, psychologist, clinical doctor and, if necessary, psychiatrist, can provide early treatment and prevention. This is crucial, if we talk about Mental Health.

“People with ED are people whose mood is influenced by success or failure in their relationship with food and with their self-image. They tend to describe themselves in absolute terms (good-bad; cute-ugly; right-wrong). This polarization reinforces the need they have to control what they eat, ”said Mara, who has the Diploma in Body Image Disorders.


The Bachelor of Psychology through her Instagram account @hablar_sana shares information and makes this pathology visible. In relation to this, he highlighted the following:

“The quest to achieve extreme thinness translates into a psychological fight, in which the person adopts a behavior of defiance and independence, but the reality is that they feel that they are worthless and do not deserve that nothing good happens to them.
Social networks reveal what we want and cannot be. Amplify stereotypes unattainable and unattainable lifestyles. They tend to promote thinness and beauty as synonyms of success, this can work as triggers of symptoms of Eating Disorders”, He remarked.

The impact of social networks is evident, multiple factors can trigger a mental pathology. These often show images that are not completely real, something that can be harmful to many people.

Following the psychologist: “Some social media accounts can promote poor eating habits, feelings of rejection of one’s own body, and weak self-esteem.
The use of filters in photos generate an unreal perception of the other, an optical illusion to cover defects, among others, when in reality we do not want to show weakness or vulnerability ”.
In this sense, Mara Fernández continued to express: “The public that consumes the networks, even knowing that many publications are armed scenographies, or” retouched “photos, in their eagerness to have life or to be like that influencer they follow, may incur some unhealthy behaviors, among them a restrictive or compensatory feeding, in order to achieve it “said the expert in eating disorders.

The International Day of the fight against eating disorders invites us to reflect on our habits, customs, mandates and lifestyles since, many times, a body that responds to certain stereotypes above the person is valued more. as such.

We are our story. Thousands of people struggle silently with an eating disorder every day. Mental health must be made visible with respect and empathy. Early detection and effective treatment is possible!

It is worth asking ourselves:

What place do insecurities, fears and suffering occupy in our lives? Do social demands and mandates allow us to be full and authentic?


  • Juliet Pilatti

Degree in journalism. One of my motivations is to provide service without border limits, making all voices and stories known. Conversing, sharing and debating is a way of exchanging experiences, learning and life legacies.

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