How Covid-19 Has Affected Our Health

Posted in: About Valley Northern 1st March 2021 How Covid-19 Has Affected Our Health

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues many families have experienced profound changes to their diets known to be associated with adverse effects on health.

Concerns are now growing that the three lockdowns resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing nutritional problems; including obesity, undernourishment, nutrient deficiencies, as well as mental health problems such as anxiety, low self-worth and depression. Additionally the British Dental Association (BDA) has warned it could take years to repair the damage the COVID-19 crisis has done to the dental health of young people across the country.

The pandemic has brought different challenges for all of us, but there is no denying that eating, physical activity and other weight-related lifestyle behaviours have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis – and may continue to be so.

Sales data shows an increase of around 15% in sales of snack foods like confectionery and biscuits since March 2020. Meanwhile, across England, there was a 59% drop in dental treatments for children last year, compared with 2019 – especially for those in deprived areas. This percentage represents millions of missed dental treatments nationally.

According to an England-wide survey conducted by the government, 29% of participants aged over 18 agreed that they had smoked more since the second national lockdown; attributing the change to being worried about their physical and mental health (42%) and having money worries (41%). Additionally 23% of drinkers claimed that their alcohol intake had increased since the second lockdown. This is reflected in a 28% increase in take home alcohol sales, compared to the previous year.

7 in 10 of over 5,000 adults who participated in this survey said that they were motivated to make healthier lifestyle changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and 80% disclosed that they have made the decision to change their lifestyle in 2021.

This month Valley Northern is supporting two causes to help raise awareness of the adverse affects to peoples’ health caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

World Oral Health Day (20th March) offers the dental and oral health community a platform to take action and help reduce the overall disease burden poses by oral issues, whilst National Workouts & Wellbeing Week (23rd – 28th March) raises awareness around the positive impact that exercise has on our overall health.

One of the most important things to do is to build time into our busy day for ourselves – but this can also be the hardest thing to do, too. Between working from home and home schooling, it’s no exaggeration that it is proving difficult to find the time, but allocating just 15 minutes of exercise can make a person more productive all throughout the rest of the day. Additionally, cutting down on cigarettes, foods with high sugar content, alcohol and fast foods like curries not only benefit the body but our oral health too. Diseases like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis are linked to oral health, so simple but positive changes to lifestyle and diet are worthwhile investments to an individual’s long-term condition and overall longevity.

Join us this month in dusting off our walking boots or trainers, eating more considerately and spending a little extra care and attention to our teeth!

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