For Dr. Norma Meza, president of the CPN, Costa Rica is currently fighting a Pandemic, but obesity already had Costa Ricans on orange alert. “We believe that COVID-19 has highlighted the urgency of improving our eating habits,” he commented.
The Latin American Study on Nutrition and Health (ELANS) developed in 2016, studied the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the population of eight Latin American countries and placed Costa Rica in second place.
Dr. Meza explained that some studies have shown that obesity is a risk factor associated with greater severity and mortality in patients with COVID-19, “since people with a high Body Mass Index (BMI) were more likely to being admitted to the hospital or the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). It is worrying that in our country, there are many people at risk of suffering health complications if they are infected with SARS-CoV-2”.
Campaign provides tools to improve eating habits
“Orange alert against obesity” consists of informing the population of the health risks of obesity and how to prevent complications associated with COVID-19. For example, broadcasts on Facebook Live where professionals will provide recommendations, testimonials, and perform dynamics.
They also present the public test:Do you know if your eating habits are healthy? Available to the population, which measures the quality of food that citizens currently have. It is available on Instagram and Facebook.
Dr. Alejandra Irola, the representative of the CPN, pointed out that there are four pillars that can lead the population to change their lifestyle and experience an improvement in their health, in addition to reducing the risk of obesity:
1. Measure yourself
It is important that people know their current weight, as well as their height, in addition to knowing their blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. This will allow us to know how they are and to set goals to improve the nutritional and cardiometabolic status.
Starting or maintaining a daily routine of physical activity will help keep your mind and body healthy. Choosing the activity that you like the most and can do in your environment will allow you to expend calories and burn fat. You can invite the people you live with to move around and it is even recommended to search for classes or tutorials on the Internet for exercises at home.
The consumption of liquid per day should be eight glasses, of which six can be of pure water and the others of low-sugar fruit drinks. Coffee or tea are not counted. If you do not like water, it is advisable to add slices of fruit such as lemon or watermelon, or good grass leaves.
4. Eat healthy
Eating healthy is the key to losing weight or keeping it off. Remember that your caloric intake depends on your weight, age and activity. For this reason, do not follow fad diets and consult a nutritionist”, concluded Dr. Irola.