COVID-19 pandemic harms health of men and increases obesity and drinking

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : December 31, 2021, 11:22 | Updated : December 31, 2021, 11:22

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- A prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has harmed the health of men by increasing the prevalence of obesity, hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure, and high-risk drinking. Obesity was is more pronounced in men than in women, according to a health survey released by South Korea's state health and anti-epidemic center.

In a study to analyze changes in public health behaviors and chronic diseases among those over the age of 19, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), a state anti-epidemic center found that health behaviors and chronic diseases worsened in men after South Korea enforced a social distancing campaign to ride out a COVID-19 pandemic. 

The prevalence of obesity among men rose from 41.8 percent in 2019 to 48 percent in 2020, while women's prevalence rate rose by 2.7 percentage points during the same period, the agency said. "As the COVID-19 epidemic continues, health behavior and chronic diseases are expected to worsen further," KDCA head Jeong Eun-kyong said in a statement on December 31. 

In men in their 30, there was a clear increase in obesity and a decrease in aerobic activity, while a high-risk drinking rate and high cholesterolemia were visible among men in their 40s. Among men in their 30s, the prevalence of obesity rose from 46.4 percent to 58.2 percent, the highest among all age groups. KDCA attributed the increase to drinking more and sitting down for a longer time.
 
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