Long term consequences of Covid-19 & Obesity

As the world comes to halt, covid-19 is spreading across length and breadth. Till now, we all have gotten used to the new norm of staying indoors, working from home & limiting our gatherings/outings. It seems like as if the sedentary lifestyle and comfort chore schedules were not enough, the lock-down has just added more to this. This pandemic has already affected out our physical activities, group exercises, gym and other forms of physical workout that used to happen in groups. It has curtailed various weight management programs across the globe. This is likely going to extend for a long time. The severe preventive measures to limit the spread of coronavirus introduction of steps like not leaving our houses (even those who are not sick) for months & months will have an impact on mobility and enforced physical inactivity even for short periods increases the risk of metabolic disease. Besides, a large section of the population is becoming more depended on processed to ready to eat food items which are contributing more to weight gain. Nonetheless to say, the blurred lines between work & home has also acted like adding fuel to the fire, as lack of physical movement, increase in binge eating due to stress & anxiety and measures of lockdown & quarantine impacting the overall well-being in physical nature of humans.

The luxurious food brands and their products are predominantly to be accused of adding to obesity risk during covid-19 also. The marketing strategies which they do to lure us to purchase the processed food that is instantly ready to eat and consume are high in sodium and processed with artificial agents. Besides, to combat the “equal” pandemic of obesity, governments need to step in to drive reformulation of packaged instant food products and restrict the consumption of it. The million-dollar question is why the food industry allowed to advertise products that is going to kill in long run as well as possess a risk factor for many diseases including obesity in addition to coronavirus.

Obesity has been increasing in prevalence all over the world and severe obesity is linked to a multiple fold to risk of diabetes and cardiovascular death compared to the non-obese. Any previous illness condition is as of now demonstrating to expand the mortality in Covid-19 patients and furthermore at increasingly huge risk to Covid-19 infection. Obesity demonstrates that the burden of chronic illnesses which it carries with itself like diabetes/cardiovascular ailments, even with a 3-month lock-down, may initiate addition to the mortality, hence imperative to highlight physical activities encouragement & policies as public health priorities during the pandemic.

To combat this, we need to create policies at macro level, organisational level to design that caters to increase in physical & mental well-being not only during work hours but also in day to day routine that can be incorporated and benefited from in long run. Let’s try not to add more burden of diseases especially those diseases which are easily preventable like lifestyle diseases obesity, diabetes & cardiovascular disease.

About the Author: Dr. Darshita Singh is a doctor, entrepreneur and management consultant

Disclaimer: Views expressed are the authors own. CHD Group takes no liability on behalf or for the contents expressed.

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