Not knowing if it was Monday, Tuesday or Saturday, only that at eight o’clock in the afternoon we had to go out to have some applause with the neighbors and comment on the play, it put thousands and thousands of people in a loop in their homes where we did what we did. we should never have done: pecking at all hours, breaking schedules, staying up late, becoming “kitchens” -and not just bread- or buy those appetizers as tasty as poisonous that, under normal conditions, we would never have allowed ourselves. Some might think that the same, if the world was going to end, what difference did it make? Now that it seems that we are slowly moving away from the covid – haven’t you noticed that we are no longer talking about the bug, only about vaccines and we have our opinions? – endocrinologists, among other specialists, are beginning to sound the alarm about a problem that, like so many, was as easy to generate as it will be difficult to solve. The tasty Mediterranean diet that it was the “sancta sanctorum” of so many and families has passed away. She disappeared as a Spartan and we no longer even remember how to make a salad. And that is known by endocrinologists, mainly, who are beginning to collect the results of this long and heavy year. “The pandemic has led to erroneous eating habits and worse control of anxiety in the intake of food“, they explain from the Vinalopó Hospital service, which is managed by the Ribera Salud Group.
According to experts, the new normal we find ourselves in has increased the frequency of dysfunctional eating patterns. “Patients are having a harder time controlling food between meals or snacking, as well as anxiety about food intake. There is a lack of motivation to eat well and take care of yourself, “says Guillermo Negueruela, head of Endocrinology at the privately run public health center in Elche.
The specialist divides these patients into two large profiles: the large dining rooms, which ensure that they are not easily satiated; and the peckers, who eat too fast and out of time. Dr. Negueruela recalls that this problem is in addition to the one we already had before the covid: “50% of the population is overweight or obese. The same percentage of society that recognizes that they do not perform any physical exercise.”
The eating disorder produced by depression and the anxiety They require family support to be able to listen, pay attention to weight, eating pattern, exercise or not, and changes in habits. “It is important not to blame patients, offer understanding, understand that obesity is a normally chronic disease where the user does not need to be blamed, but rather to be given the necessary tools to achieve a change in habits. “And this is theory, which is the easy thing, the It is always difficult to put it into practice, as the doctors recognize because the end of the limitations, such as being able to go out on the streets and, especially, recover the habits of the bars, mentally helped us to cope with what that confinement had meant in terms of to the loss of social relationships, but it did not help our body to return to proper eating patterns. In fact, many businesses admit that repeat customers have multiplied; that is, those who previously went once or twice a month and those who now come almost daily to have a beer … we go to a “tavern.” “We have not done anything different, they have changed, they need more to go out and interact. They have increased the frequency of their visits to the bar or restaurant. Although there are also those who we have not seen for a year. There are those who have not left home yet, “explains a waiter in the Glorieta de Elche.
Specialists emphasize monitoring important changes in habits, such as stopping exercising or going outside, as well as eating with great anxiety or presenting features of depression. “We must monitor these attitudes because they can mask a picture of depression or generalized base anxiety, so they would require assessment,” says the specialist with obvious concern.
To avoid bad habits, the service recommends a recipe that all of us – except our will – know: incorporate physical exercise into our way of life, change eating habits by incorporating the Mediterranean diet avoiding processed, industrial products, etc. In addition, they promote an active life and cultivate family support and social relationships to improve mood and anxiety. “It is important to set a clear and realistic goal about weight loss and fitness that we want to achieve, timeframe and changes that we are willing to make.”
“In the Endocrinology service of Vinalopó we take care, in collaboration with other specialists, to rule out secondary causes of obesity, control comorbidities and offer advice on diet, exercise and medical or surgical treatment to patients who need it,” says Negueruela .