People need to pay more attention to nutrition and physical activities to maintain a healthy life, especially in the Covid-19 pandemic, health experts said.
Professor Lim Soo at the Internal Medicine Department of Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Professor Lim Hyun-jung at the Department of Medical Nutrition of Kyung Hee University, and Professor Jean-Pierre Després at the Department of Kinesiology of Université Laval, Canada published their guidelines for nutrition and exercise under the Covid-19 pandemic on the online issue of Obesity.
The pandemic has forced many countries to place social distancing rules. Still, such social regulations led to a reduction in individuals’ physical activity and access to healthy foods, the researchers said. This tends to cause weight gain, blood sugar increase, and worsening of hyperlipidemia, they said.
Chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes are particularly more affected by lack of physical activity and an unbalanced diet so that a prolonged Covid-19 will have a negative impact on obesity, diabetes, and heart disease significantly, the researchers went on to say.
Korean people’s dependence on the highly developed food delivery network has increased, and most of the delivered foods are likely to cause weight gains compared to home-cooked meals, the research team said.
In contrast, the economic slump caused by the pandemic has made consumers hesitate to purchase seasonal and fresh foods, fruits, and milk, they added.
The researchers also raised concerns about students’ nutrition. To prevent Covid-19 infections, schools have been closed for several months, making it difficult for students to have a healthier and more balanced lunch, according to the research team.
The experts said balanced nutrition, hydration, and physical activity help maintain the immune system and reduce the risk of chronic and infectious diseases, thus essential for preventing Covid-19.
The research team provided recommendations for a healthy diet and maintaining physical activity.
Above all, the government should develop a public health campaign to encourage food providers to produce and deliver healthier foods.
Staying at home is a chance to promote family cooking, and there should be a credible public health educational material available on the web, the researchers went on to say. “This is particularly important for children with weight issues, to help them learn how to cook healthy foods from a young age,” they said.
To promote physical activity, using social network services such as YouTube to follow a home training program and creating a sense of community by joining online group classes regularly would be a good idea, the researchers noted.
“The Covid-19 pandemic and the follow-up quarantine measures have inevitably aggravated the health of patients with chronic diseases in many countries around the world,” said Lim. “Managing your health and that of your family by following these practical recommendations will be a smart way to live in the post-Covid-19 era.”