SANTO DOMINGO.- The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the socio-economic dynamics and lifestyle of families in the Dominican Republic and has caused an unprecedented deterioration in the nutrition of children and adolescents, which leads to them being overweight and obese.
During the pandemic, the board the screen, teleworking became the norm, the burden on the health services increased, many businesses closed, and the public was quarantined at home to protect them from the spread of the virus.
Dr. Mariella Cedano Nuñez, Pediatric Endocrinologist – Lecturer at Hospiten Santo Domingo spoke about the situation and went on to state that excess weight and obesity became risk factors in the development of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, fatty liver, dyslipidemia, cancer among others.
She added, "that these are non-communicable chronic diseases that can appear early, shortening the quality of life of those suffering the disease and increasing the country's spending on health services".
Dr. Cedano Nuñez indicated that in addition to the aforementioned cardiometabolic complications, obesity can cause pubertal changes to progress rapidly, thus affecting growth in the lower limbs, causing sleep apnea, low self-esteem and other factors, to the detriment of the health of children.
As a solution, the healthcare professional recommends adopting healthy habits that include the whole family with a healthy, varied and adequate diet and include sports and physical activities, as well as regular visits to the family pediatrician to monitor growth.
Dr. Cedano Nuñez went on to suggested specialized medical assistance if the child or adolescent “gains weight above what is expected”; reducing exposure to screens to one hour a day and adequate rest to have good sleep hygiene.
She said that good nutrition should include more fruit and vegetables, in adequate portions, reduce the consumption of sugary drinks and processed foods, in addition to having more quality family time, which allows a greater emotional and spiritual closeness and understanding.
The Hospiten Group is an international healthcare network with 50 years of experience committed to providing the highest quality service, which has twenty private medical-hospital centers in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica and Panama, in addition to more than a hundred outpatient consultation offices under the brand name Clinic Assist. The group is chaired by Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella and attends more than 1,900,000 patients from all over the world every year with a workforce of more than 5,000 people.