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André Luis Messias: Obesity - a pandemic within a pandemic |

André Luis Messias: Obesity – a pandemic within a pandemic |

Andre Luis Messias opinion, Diadisclosure

Published 09/10/2021 05:50 AM

The COVID-19 pandemic is still a reality, but we should be aware of another pandemic: obesity. A disease characterized by excess body fat is a public health problem worldwide and is responsible for millions of deaths annually. In addition, he suffers from other diseases associated with it, such as diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cancer, asthma and joint problems. A problem for the global health system.

Obesity is a significant risk factor for COVID-19. A systematic review, published in a scientific journal, analyzed 75 studies and warned that obesity is positively associated with the severity of COVID-19. The authors concluded that obese subjects had a higher risk of infection (46%), hospitalization (113%), ICU admission (74%), and mortality (48%). Therefore, there is an urgent need to reduce the number of obese people worldwide.

One of the methods of diagnosing obesity is body mass index, the famous body mass index. Although it is a method that has its limitations, such as not distinguishing between muscle mass and fat, BMI is an excellent tool for classifying the nutritional status of a large population. A person is considered obese when his BMI is greater than 30. For the calculation, it is necessary to use the formula: weight divided by the square of height.

Obesity does not have a single cause. It is a combination of factors. Obesity causes: heredity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, anxiety, poor sleep quality, sedentary behavior and stress. It is necessary for each person to think about all these components and improve as much as possible.

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It is necessary to go further and understand in a simple way how obesity develops. A person becomes fat when his body consumes more calories than it expends. Therefore, an energy balance is necessary to avoid this disease. Prevention is more effective than treatment. So care is not enough on the eve of National Obesity Prevention Day and World Obesity Day on October 11th.

The need to stay home for longer due to the pandemic has led to an increase in obesity. We also live in an age where technology takes up a huge amount of space and people move less and less. This results in a lower calorie expenditure. Added to this is an increase in the consumption of processed foods.

In this sense, people need to be aware of what they are eating, in terms of quantity and quality, and whether they are moving in such a way that the body expends too many calories. It is essential that people try to do physical activity and spend less time on sedentary behaviour.

Sleep quality, stress levels, and anxiety control should be assessed. It is a fact that genetics cannot be changed, but everyone can and should lead an active and healthy lifestyle to avoid obesity. We don’t know when the COVID-19 pandemic will end, but we can and must improve our way of life. An active and healthy lifestyle can and should help avoid a breakdown in the health care system.

André Luis Messias is Professor of Physical Education, a Master of Science in Cardiovascular Sciences by the National Institute of Cardiology, and a doctoral candidate in public health epidemiology at Vuecruz.

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