For many of us, including me, the current Covid-19 pandemic presents one of the most, if not THE most stressful period of our lives. We are worried about the health of our families and loved ones, stressed about finances, concerned about our jobs and consumed with doubts about what the future holds. These are very normal feelings during a crisis such as this.
However, it is very important that we do not allow these circumstances to diminish our health in other ways. Study after study, albeit with the early phase data coming out about he Covid-19 pandemic, show that many of the risk factors associated with a poor outcome from contracting the virus are co-morbidities of poor weight control. Aside from an advanced age, diabetes and heart disease are the two most prominent risk factors associated with a greater chance of dying from the virus.
Much more time confined to home added to the stress of the situation lend themselves to heightened stress eating behavior patterns. Almost instinctually, we try to offset negative events with something “positive” and on the immediate basis, a high caloric, sweet or crunchy snack or alcohol consumption provide a very short-lived immediate gratification. This, in turn, will lead to worse weight control.
As difficult as this is, we must not allow the nightmare events unfolding to worsen our baseline health. Please know full well that the overwhelming majority of people contracting the virus will come out the other side no worse for the wear. However, there will be a very small percentage that could be hurt real badly or even die. To increase your chance of being in the majority of people that would recover beautifully even if the virus is contracted, try to keep working on improving, not worsening, your overall health.
None of this is easy. However, let’s all support each other to strengthen our physical and emotional healths.