Lockdown has worsened the symptoms of eating disorders in people.
After the pandemic hit and a worldwide lockdown were announced, many things changed and what was expected to last for a few months, lasted a whole year. The impact of COVID-19 runs deeper than we realize and has affected not just our physical health but also the mental one.
The lockdown in many countries kept extending and people realized this has been triggering their anxiety and depression. Apart from that, the effect was also seen on eating disorders and worsening symptoms were reported in people.
A research study was conducted and published in the journal Psychiatry Research. It indicated that lockdown worsened the symptoms of eating disorders in people. This study was carried out at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge and the results were based on the data accumulated from 319 health club members who participated in the study.
The average age of the participants in the research study was 37 and the test was named EAT-26 (eating altitude test). The questions asked during the test were related to eating habits, thoughts around eating, and general outlook on food.
The scores received later showed that the eating behaviors have changed in people and disorders like bulimia and anorexia have been triggered and worsened with time.
The reasons may differ as staying at home can change eating habits over time and since the movement was restricted with lockdown being imposed and gyms being closed, people took some time to adjust to the changes in lifestyle during the period of lockdown.
Many people also binged as the stress levels were high and a lot of people turn to food in such situations. The average time spent exercising also increased after gyms were reopened in many countries in 2020.
There is no direct relationship between a triggered eating disorder and the spread of COVID-19 but the impact of the lockdown on eating habits in people is evident and many are still adjusting to the life post-lockdown.