COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on physical and mental health of people, especially those suffering from obesity. According to a study, recently published in the journal Clinical Obesity, most obese people are struggling to manage their weight and mental health.
As part of the study, the research team surveyed 123 weight management patients and found that nearly 73 per cent of them experienced increased anxiety and nearly 84 per cent had increased depression due to the pandemic.
People with severe obesity are at greater risk of having serious complications from coronavirus infection and a higher risk of death due to the disease. This makes it more important for obese people to stay home to protect themselves from the infection. But this restriction is affecting their weight and mental health.
Pandemic hampers weight loss goals
The survey conducted between April 15 to May 31 revealed that nearly 70 per cent of participants reported more difficulty in achieving weight loss goals. While stockpiling of food increased in nearly half of the patients and stress eating was reported in 61 per cent.
According to the researchers, almost 10 per cent of the participants lost their jobs and 20 per cent said they could not afford a balanced meal. While only two of the patients tested positive for COVID-19, nearly 15 per cent reported having symptoms of the virus.
The researchers also noted that many people with obesity are now not able to get appropriate fresh, healthy foods. And those who reside in food desert areas lacking grocery stores are relying on fast food and processed foods from the convenience stores.
How to manage weight amidst the pandemic
Studies have identified obesity as a prominent risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection. Here are some tips to help bring down your weight while you’re at home during the lockdown.
Start your day with a high-protein meal
Don’t skip your breakfast, instead make it larger. Studies have shown that people who eat more in the morning and less at night are likely to lose more weight. Experts recommend starting your day with a high-protein meal, which can help you feel fuller and less hungry later.
Cut sugar and saturated fats
When you buy food items, look for those that are low in sugar and saturated fats. Too much sugar can increase risk of weight gain and diabetes, while saturated fats can raise your cholesterol levels and make you more prone to heart disease. Go for low-glycemic, high-protein foods as they can help control your blood sugar and decrease cravings.
Keep a food journal
Always keep a track of what eat you eat in a day to control your calorie intake. Keeping a food journal or a photo diary may help you avoid overeating, make dietary improvement, and pay attention to portion sizes. You can also use an app to track what you ate and how much as well as your progress.
Reorganize fridge shelves
Keep unhealthy food out of sight, so that remains out of your mind and mouth. Ones you get rid of those treats you can’t resist from home, set up your food storage in such a way that healthy foods become more prominent and easier to reach. Store fresh veggies and fruit at eye level instead of putting them inside a drawer.
(With inputs from IANS)
Published : June 22, 2020 4:19 pm | Updated:June 22, 2020 4:20 pm