A new study revealed a link between the Corona pandemic and “eating strikes” that kill nearly 10200 people every year, or about one person every 52 minutes.
The study, which was published by the “Euric Alert” scientific website, was conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and the American College of Public Health, and they stated that “the most disturbing results of the pandemic indicate a slight increase or re-emergence of eating disorders.”
Researcher Melissa Simon from U of M University’s School of Medicine collaborated with Diane Steiner, a professor of the School of Public Health and head of the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, to prepare the study between April and May 2020.
Simon said, “The Corona pandemic has led to public health policies being followed to limit virus transmission. While this is necessary, the disruptions to daily life associated with the ongoing epidemic may have significant negative consequences for eating disorders.”
“Eating disorders cause one of the highest mortality rates, and it is important to link the consequences of the epidemic to disruptive eating behaviors,” added Simon, who is the lead author of the study.
The study aimed to “understand the possible links between stress, psychological distress, financial difficulties, and changes in eating behaviors during the Corona pandemic,” according to the “Al Hurra” channel.
Simon’s findings showed 6 major themes for changing eating behavior, which are reckless eating, snacking, increased food consumption, decreased appetite, diets, overeating, and increased eating disorders.
About 8% of those surveyed reported severely unhealthy weight-control behaviors, while 53% reported less severe unhealthy behaviors, and 14% reported that they overeat.
The study revealed that these results were significantly associated with “poor management of psychological stress, symptoms of depression, and moderate or severe financial difficulties.”
“There has been a lot of focus on obesity and its relationship to the Corona pandemic, and it is also important to focus on the large number of people who have had an eating disorder,” Steiner said.
In turn, Simon explained, “The economic consequences of the Corona epidemic are likely to last for a long time after the vaccines are distributed. And because our results indicate that moderate or severe financial difficulties may be related to disordered food behaviors, it is imperative that treatments be affordable.”