Psychological strain and eating habits in the pandemic

Credit: S. Spreidler / TUM

Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) investigated possible changes in adults’ eating habits and body weight after more than two years of the disease. The result: 35% of those examined have gained weight, in some cases, since the beginning of the disease. However, 15% of adults have partially lost significant weight since the onset of SARS-CoV-2.

The Else Kröner-Fresenius Institute of TUM’s Institute of Nutritional Medicine (EKFZ) collaborated with the opinion research center Forsa to examine 1,005 people in Germany between the ages of 18 and 70 who were selected according to a randomized design.

The main thing that scientists focus on is the psyche: What is the relationship between food habits and state of mind? In the past year, 42% of those surveyed experienced some emotional distress due to the changes that have occurred. epidemicwhile 20% experienced strong mental stress for this reason.

Increasing number of diseases related to weight and lifestyle is feared

“Unfortunately, during the disaster many people did not manage to protect their own weight under control, “says Professor Hauner. He fears an increase in diseases related to weight and lifestyle in the coming years. “We must expect an increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the future.”

As a short-term measure, Hauner suggested that people be made aware of these links and offer real help when needed. “Many people with weight problems need external help. Health policy can start campaigns aimed at encouraging and supporting people.”

15% of those surveyed lost weight

15 percent of the people surveyed lost their weight during the same period – on average by 7.9 kg. “This is consistent with the results of other studies,” says Professor Martina de Zwaan, head of the Clinic for Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy at Hannover Medical School (MHH). “This could be a sign of a healthier lifestyle: Life is less crowded, people have more time to cook their own food and focus on good nutrition.”

Another surprising result is the high percentage (19%) of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 lost weight, as did the majority of study participants (18%) with a Body Mass Index of less than 20. de Zwaan. . This is linked to reduced access to sports, loss of recognition and authentication systems, exclusion from the publicgeneral insecurity, an increase in stress and mental stressand is associated with the potential for increased use of social media, which often confronts users with sadness and aversion to value.

Due to the different behavior in the disaster, the two experts also recommend better education on the subject with individual solutions through nutritional advice.

Mental health associated with weight gain in obese individuals during a disaster

hint: Psychological strain and eating habits in the pandemic (2022, July 29) Retrieved July 29, 2022 from .html

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