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World Obesity Day 2022: Binge Eating Disorder And Lack Of Physical Exercise During The Pandemic

There is an alarming lack of data on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown that has prompted many young teenagers to suffer from eating disorders.

World Obesity Day 2022: Binge Eating Disorder And Lack Of Physical Exercise During The Pandemic

World Obesity Day: Most outgoing adults and teenagers faced the lowest phase of their lives

The COVID-19 pandemic to an extent encouraged people to eat home cooked food however, it became a challenge among some teenagers to control their food habits and various eating disorders. Major disruption in day-to-day life, such as “social distancing” restrictions done to curb the virus spread, did potentially cause harm to our psychological wellbeing. These restrictions also hampered the treatment and the recovery process for many individuals with various illnesses.

During lockdown period, most outgoing adults and teenagers faced the lowest phase of their lives. Most adolescents experienced many changes during the lockdown period, which led them down to the path of eating disorders and depression. This condition triggered most among people who were absolutely disconnected from friends or family members during lockdown period. As a result, it caused devastating effect on their psychological wellbeing. The affected individual would feel completely left out due to the social distancing and lose the sense of self control, risking his/her health by consuming fatty and packaged food.  Excess consumption of fatty food like burger and sugary drinks would lead to obesity among teenagers, which eventually brings out a sense of low self-esteem or poor confidence level.   

There is an alarming lack of data on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown that has prompted many young teenagers to suffer from eating disorders. Youth presented with high rates of medical instability were hospitalized during the COVID-19 pandemic. Caring for these youths were more challenging, as access to healthcare services were limited during the lockdown period. While attending such cases medical practitioners can't afford to make any mistakes or delays in treatment of these individuals.



Binge eating disorder is a serious mental health condition that can be difficult to recognize and treat. People who suffer from the disorder might feel ashamed about their habits, as a result they might not seek for medical help to treat the disorder. 

There is no greater risk factor of eating disorders than the time of lockdown and Work from Home. The pressure, food insecurity and social isolation in our day-to-day lives can all cause stress and trigger depression. It has been observed that more than adults, teenagers are prone to suffer from mental health issues which would cause anxiety disorder, binge eating and even show suicidal tendencies due to increase in body weight. During lockdown many food supply chains were disrupted, which caused panic among people, it resulted in people buying unhealthy food with long shelf life. People were reluctant to step out and do exercise at public places due to restrictions and the fear of catching the virus. As a result, people started gaining weight which affected their overall health.

Despite the roll-out of vaccines to fight against COVID infection, the young individuals are still facing challenges to come out of their comfort zone, eating disorders and break their sedentary lifestyle. The pandemic has highlighted how deep this schism really runs, and public health messages have perpetuated dangerous myths about weight loss that could make things worse for those who struggle daily. The only solution to this problem is to let go of the fear and adopt physical exercise as a priority. People must adopt a healthy diet and reduce consumption of package food to bare minimum. 

Eating disorder not only triggers illness but also aggravate existing illnesses. The sooner you control and treat the disorder the better will be the life expectancy. Only appropriate healthy foods habit combined with regular physical activity and psychological assistance can secure healthy future.

(Authored by Karthigai Selvi, Chief Dietician, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals)

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