Obesity has become endemic in Hungary, where almost 60 percent of the population is concerned. Among the reasons we can list the coronavirus, the lockdowns and the home office. In the last two years, Hungarians ate more but moved less. The result is that significantly more people struggle with overweight than prior to the pandemic.
According to index.hu, almost 60 percent of Hungary’s population struggle with overweight or obesity. The coronavirus epidemic only worsened the statistics. In the last two years, the average weight increase concerning Hungarians was 4-5 kilos, Róbert J. Bedros, the director of the Szent Imre Hospital, a fellow teacher of the University of Pécs and founder of the institution’s obesity department, told the Hungarian media outlet.
Regarding the way the pandemic affected the weight increase of Hungarians, the professor could not share any good news. He said they published a relevant study with his colleagues one year ago.
They named the problem “COVID-type obesity.”
Their writing was a success, quoted by many of their fellow researchers.
They said that ‘home office’ meant mostly ‘kitchen office’. Thanks to that, most people ate significantly more. Meanwhile, the amount of exercise decreased drastically because of the lockdowns. Hungarians eat 68 percent more snacks, while the time spent on sports suffered a 54 percent reduction. On the other hand, people would like to continue the home office. Therefore, the above-described issue is not expected to disappear with the end of the pandemic/lockdowns.
Professor Bedros said that people could gain weight very easily. For example, if we eat only 125 kcal more per week, that can mean one plus kilo every year. And that amount of energy equals a slice of bread with butter.
The obesity department he founded at the University of Pécs is new both in Europe and the world.
Professor Bedros listed among the causes that Hungary is one of the most obese countries in the European Union, which can result in serious health risks concerning its population. The department will operate in the Szent Imre Hospital (Pécs) and the Dél-Budai Cetrumkórház (South Buda Central Hospital) in Budapest. In Budapest, they created special operating rooms and hospital rooms to provide proper care for obese patients.
He said that researchers had tried to find genes responsible for obesity, but they were unsuccessful. There are promising drugs inducing satiety, for example, Tirzepatide, that received the approval of the US authorities. However, it takes time until European countries allow them. Another example is Liraglutide.
He said that crash diets are dangerous and unhealthy.
We can expect ideal results if women limit their daily energy input to around 1,200 kcal. This number is 1,500 kcal in the case of men. The other important element is regular physical activity. In the beginning, walking for 100 minutes distributed to 4-5 days a week (meaning 20 minutes per day) is enough.