Covid-19 has added weight to obesity problems. Prevent it with these tips

World Obesity Day: Sedentary lifestyles and binge eating led to weight woes during the Covid-19 pandemic. Use these tips to prevent obesity.
Obese woman
Obesity is not good for health! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Rajesh Kesari Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 11:08 am IST
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The Covid-19 pandemic turned people’s fitness regimes and eating habits upside down, leading to widespread obesity. It’s now time to take corrective measures.

Obesity is the mother of a majority of killer, non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery diseases, obstructive sleep apnea, among others. Simply put, obesity is a state of excess weight — primarily due to fat deposits in the body.

weight gain
Mindless eating has led to obesity among people. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Unlike the Caucasian or Europeans, people of Asian origin have fat stored in their abdomen, not muscles. Due to this unique storage, fat becomes accessible to intra-abdominal organs such as pancreas and liver through which it gets into the centralized blood circulation system. This results in clogging of blood vessels, leading to strokes and heart attacks. Nearly 60 percent of people in the world die of either strokes or heart attacks.

Covid-19, the accelerator of obesity

A series of lockdowns during three different Covid-19 waves in the last couple of years prevented people from stepping out of their homes. Parks and gyms were closed, and so regular walkers and workout enthusiasts had nowhere to go. This coincided with a general trend of experimentation with cooking at home and higher consumption of food, especially during the first wave.

Since a large number of people resorted to easy-to-cook, high-calorie dishes, they found themselves stuck in the obesity trap by the time the restrictions were lifted.

Something similar happened during the second wave of Covid-19 wave, though the trend wasn’t as widespread as it was the first time around. However, the second phase saw a lot more deaths and a huge number of people getting infected with the virus. In the event of a Covid-19 like pandemic, overweight people are more likely to land in intensive care units as their lungs are already impaired and an external virus attacking the respiratory system only makes matters worse.

Obesity also depresses the immune system, which is why people with excess weight are more prone to catch a virus or an infection.

Also Read: Overweight women may need more vitamin D. Here’s why

How to prevent obesity

Maintaining a healthy bodyweight is of critical importance as obesity can also lead to chronic inflammation in the blood, causing the blood to burn 24/7. It can also cause 100 different types of cancers. Contrary to the common perception, obesity isn’t just a problem for adults.

According to the World Health Organization, 39 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2020.

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Such children are at risk of picking up several life-altering diseases like diabetes and hypertension at an early stage. Hence, it is important for people to stay healthy and inculcate healthy habits in their children.

Covid-19 has led to people giving into their cr.avings We need to watch what we eat. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

A few simple steps to prevent obesity include:

1. Watch what you eat:

Consuming less and consuming healthy can be a game-changer. Some foods can just add to your weight, and you won’t even realise it.

2. Be more active:

Regular exercise, coupled with a healthy lifestyle, can make a world of difference to your health.

3. Be mindful of family history:

People who have diabetes and hypertension running in the family, must be extra cautious and take timely measures to avoid diseases.

4. Prevent obesity in unborn children:

Expecting mothers must consume a nutritious, low-fat diet so that the children who are born do not suffer from or are susceptible to obesity.

Even though obesity is already a global pandemic, it can be effectively countered with awareness, willingness, and preventive actions.

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About the Author

Dr Rajesh KesariDiabetologist & PhysicianExpert, ASSOCHAM Illness to Wellness ...Read More

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