With schools closed and playgrounds deserted since the outbreak of Covid-19, students have put on weight and parents are worried about the health of their children.
Not only students, working professionals too have gained weight due to lack of physical activity, stress, and other reasons. Covid has disrupted routines for many families. For children and teens, late night sleep and waking up late has disturbed normal life and activities.
Due to Covid, a majority of the people concentrate more on personal hygiene. Many maintain distance and wear masks for hours. Meanwhile, people, particularly in urban areas have no option for physical activity, resulting in obesity.
Ramya Arun Kumar, mother of a 9-year-old boy, says, her son gained 12 kg since the lockdown in March. “He sleeps late in the night and wakes up only after 9 am and attends classes online. His lifestyle has changed a lot. I don’t allow him to go out to the playground and thus he has to stay indoors. He used to wake up at 6 am during regular school days and he used to play football every day. Now, he is reluctant to go for a walk, either in the morning or in the evening,” she said.
Subhash, a 33-year-old, working from home, said, he gained 15 kg in just four months, from April to July. “Now, it is difficult to reduce weight. By practicing yoga, I reduced four kg. I put on weight due to lack of physical activity during lockdown,” he said.
According to health professionals, eating the right food at the right time has a huge impact on either gaining or losing weight, particularly for kids and teenagers. “Children must eat three meals a day and one snacks. A minimum physical activity is must, to maintain a healthy body. Consuming more liquid food and vegetables will help to reduce weight. One gains weight even due to stressed life,” said Dr Uday Kumar.
Physical fitness trainer Balchandra said, “Due to the outbreak of Covid, many could not do physical exercise and parks were closed for strollers. Though the people eat healthy food, calories must be burnt to maintain a healthy physique”.
According to another fitness trainer M G Sukesh, after lockdown, many are reluctant to attend gym for exercises. He says, without physical activity, it is not possible to reduce weight and to maintain health.