In our current times, we are facing many challenges. We are facing the challenge of coronavirus, however it is not just coronavirus that we are facing. Recent studies have shown “that repeated coronavirus lockdowns are fueling a surge in obesity.”
This is a challenge for a number reasons, because obesity is not just harmful in itself, but it also increases the chances of illness from the virus. As studies have shown “Covid-19 studies show people who are overweight are at greater risk of hospitalization, intensive care and death from Covid.”
The UK Government is concerned about fitness levels of the population, which they believe have plummeted since “millions made the switch overnight from working in an office to working from home.”
Multiple lockdowns have led to concerns over the long term effects of people not exercising, and consuming “take home confectionery”.
“Take home confectionery” purchases increased by 16.5 per cent, while the number of biscuits purchased went up by 12 per cent according to the Independent Newspaper.
A chilling study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last year into the effects of Covid-19 on people with obesity, defined as a BMI over 30, finds they are at greater risk from the virus in every way. Their risk of ending up in hospital with Covid-19 increases by 113%, of needing intensive care by 74%, and of dying of the virus by 48%.
Conclusion is that people with obesity are more likely than normal-weight people to have other diseases that are independent risk factors for severe COVID-19, including heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. They are also prone to metabolic syndrome, in which blood sugar levels, fat levels, or both are unhealthy and blood pressure may be high.
The impact of COVID-19 will have a longer term impact on people's health. According to the latest figures obesity is now considered a mjor cause of illness and death.
We have seen that there is hope and light for everyone in lockdown. The Guardian has reported that “Even losing a modest amount of weight can disproportionately benefit on how well you do with the coronavirus infection. You don’t have to become a slim Jim to benefit.”
This is inspiring and hopeful news. It is encouraging. Exercising and healthy eating can help people live longer. According to the science mag, “In addition, exercising and, separately, losing even a little weight can improve the metabolic health of a person with obesity, and, in doing so, reduce their chances of developing severe COVID-19”.
Who is at risk?
Research reveals that children under 5, and men in particular are more at risk of being overweight and as a result suffer from a range of health conditions.
People who have obesity, compared to those with a healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions,
Ways in which obesity can impacts on health
Studies indicate that being overweight can lead to a range of heath conditions
* All-causes of death (mortality)
* High blood pressure (hypertension)
* High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
* Type 2 diabetes
* Coronary heart disease
* Gallbladder disease
* Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
* Sleep apnea and breathing problems
* Many types of cancers
* Low quality of life
* Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
* Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning
At the individual level, people can:
* Limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
* Increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts; and
- Engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread throughout the week for adults).
Keeping Fit during lock down is important.
Even in lockdown you can exercise, keep fit and maintain mobility and lose weight. Join an online zoom class. These are designed for people at home and are easy to access.
They are inexpensive and people can book a series of classes at special rates.
Chose from a range of activities from Pilates, Yoga, Dance, Martial Arts, Mediation even Spirituality.
Its not just weight that impacts people health
A longer and healthy life is what everyone aspires for. We long to live for longer, and it is possible if you live well and healthily. Now for some they will also consider spiritual life, are you living a righteous life and caring for those around you.
Studies have also shown that those who pray are likely to be far more immune to diseases and ill health. It also dramatically improves mental and physical health. According to the National Review, “A number of studies suggest that prayer is positively associated with well-being and physical health.”
For instance, “a nationwide survey of older adults found that the negative effects of financial problems on health were significantly reduced among those who regularly prayed for others. Religious practices such as prayer also contribute to perceptions of meaning in life, which promote psychological well-being.”
Chasing perishable things like takeaways is always harmful for your health. However, if you chase that which is lasting, it will only bring joy to your heart, mind and soul.
Exercise, eat right and remember what is eternal for your soul. You are here for a reason, find out what this reason is, live long and healthy and righteously and be a light for all.
Centres for disease Control and Prevention
WHO World Heath Organisation