We are pleased to share a paper published in the Journal of Translational Medicine. Author Giovanna Muscogiuri, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Endocrinology Unit at the University Federico II, Naples Italy. We had a discussion about the new research.
Please tell us about your new research.
As is widely acknowledged, in order to reduce the spread of the virus and the impact of a high COVID-19 prevalence on medical resources, stringent containment measures such as quarantine were implemented worldwide, and of course in Italy, too. We hypothesized that these containment measures could lead to a sudden and radical lifestyle changes, particularly in eating habits and in outdoor physical activity. The primary objective of our study were to investigate the effect of quarantine on body mass index and on sleep quality in Italian adults. The secondary objective of the study was to investigate whether changes in sleep quality during quarantine was related to working modalities. The primary findings of our study point to 1) a significant increase in BMI values in normal weight people and in people with grade I and II obesity; 2) sleep onset latency , sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances
and daytime dysfunction significantly worsened in this population and 3) smart working activity resulted in a significant worsening of sleep quality, particularly in males.
Do you believe the findings here are generalisable to a wider population?
“We don’t really yet know what’s going to happen” Dr. Muscogiuri comments. “ The pandemic is not over and we can not exclude a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall and subquent lockdown restrictions. Our findings point out that people living with obesity who undertake strict sheltering to avoid the virus should be closely monitored, perhaps using telemedicine, because of reduced physical activity, less healthy food consumption, reduction in consumption of healthier fresh options (fruits and vegetables), stress, anxiety and sleep deprivation. The duress of unrelenting exposure to news of the ongoing pandemic could push them toward overeating, and consumption of sugary “comfort foods.”
Are you planning follow-up research along the same lines?
My research group is currently involved in research studies investigating the effect of COVID-19 related restrictions on obesity.
View the manuscript: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32811530/