Experts link obesity with COVID-19 severity

16 September 2020 | News

The public should consider obesity as a disease and take all precautions Image Credit: shutterstock.com Image Credit: shutterstock.com

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), one of the apex trade associations of India concluded the sixth edition of the ‘Illness to Wellness’ series themed ‘Lifestyle Behaviour During COVID-19’. The event saw an illustrious panel of clinical nutritionists hold an active dialogue on a variety of lifestyle-related ailments like insomnia, obesity, diabetes and others being faced by citizens. 

Supported by the hygiene brand SAVLON, the program which promotes healthy living saw the speakers discuss at great length the importance of eating right, at the right time and getting enough exercise to aide metabolism. They also discussed at great length the high risk of obesity striking a large part of the population owing to current sedentary lifestyles enforced upon us due to COVID-19. 

Ritika Samaddar, RD, Regional Head, Department of Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Max Super Speciality Hospital, said, “Obesity is the new disease that we need to fight. The people who are obese, are the ones who are getting the severity of the COVID-19. The severity means they often end up in ventilators from which it is very difficult for them to recover, so it is high time we realize how important it is to be healthy. The public should consider obesity as a disease and take all precautions like dietary, lifestyle or medical management to control it.”

Ishi Khosla, Clinical Nutritionist, Centre For Dietary Counselling, added to the discussion by saying that obese people have 70% higher chances of contracting viral diseases and suffering from severe symptoms. She also elaborated on emerging lifestyle diseases that are being triggered by COVID-19 like insomnia, adverse eating habits caused due to ungainly work hours and excessive screen time.

Anil Rajput, Chairperson, ASSOCHAM CSR Council, reflected on the importance of balancing our lifestyle with the right food and exercise. “Lifestyle behaviour plays an extremely important role even if we discuss it without the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything in life depends on balance and consistency, therefore, the right balance of regular exercise, be it yoga, running or cycling, eating a nutritious diet, one that provides basic vitamins and minerals and having multivitamins along with mental relaxation can go a long way in warding off many diseases,” he said.

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