The coronavirus pandemic paralyzed Spain for more than three months. The shops were closed and the population was forced to stay home to stop the spread of the virus, which is already accumulating 270,116 cases registered and 28,429 deaths, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health.
The confinement that was implanted in the country with the state of alarm has left aftermath that are already beginning to be known and especially affect the most vulnerable population. One of the main impacts has been on a physical level.
He study “Obesity, confinement and COVID-19”, carried out by the Spanish Obesity Society (SEEDO), has revealed that 44% of Spaniards claim to have gained weight during the weeks that they remained locked up in their homes. This weight gain ranges from one and three kilos and mainly affects the elderly population.
Importance of socioeconomic and educational levels
The main causes for which the Spanish have gained weight have been the sedentary lifestyle and poor diet they have had during confinement. Almost half of the population (45%) increased the alcohol consumption and pastries, while 40% indicate that they had a lot of feeling of hunger.
However, these factors are closely linked with the socioeconomic and educational level from each person. “77% of people without income admits having gained weight compared to 43% of those surveyed with incomes above 2,000 euros,” states the study.
This is because the amount of income a person has determines many factors, such as the quality of the food they can eat or the housing they can afford. With low income the size of the house will be smaller and the practice of exercise is also reduced. This is confirmed by the analysis. 46% of those who live in flats between 50 m2 and 75 m2 had exercised, compared to 75% of those who live “in houses of at least 150 m2”.
Another point that influenced the lifestyle is the education level. Only 30% of people with primary education followed “appropriate habits”, compared to 74% of respondents with university studies.
Obesity and COVID-19
The study has found that the people who have gained the most weight are those who were already obese. Something that may pose a more serious problem than we imagine because, as SEEDO President Francisco Tinahones has highlighted, obesity is the main risk factor, along with that of age, so that the coronavirus becomes a serious case. In fact, 80% of the patients who were serious “were obese.”
Along these lines, Dr. Susana Monereo, secretary of the Spanish Obesity Society, warned that if you add “the Covid-19 pandemic, the obesity pandemic, and the ravages on the weight of confinement, we have the perfect cocktail for it to exist a major deterioration in global health“
Tips to recover
In Spain there is a 60% of citizens with overweight problems and a 21% with obesity, which can complicate many other diseases, not just the coronavirus. For this reason, Monereo and Tinahones insist on the need for healthy routines.
The most important thing is to make physical activity because “it improves the prognosis” in case of illness, according to Tinahones. It is also essential control the purchase to approach the Mediterranean diet, avoiding sweet foods and drinks with a large amount of sugar, as well as the consumption of alcohol and processed foods.