Outbreak causing weight gain, sleep disorder: Survey

Outbreak causing weight gain, sleep disorder: Survey

Nuray Babacan-ANKARA
Outbreak causing weight gain, sleep disorder: Survey

Nearly half of Turks have gained weight, while sleep disorder and headache have become widespread among people during the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent survey has shown.

Some 48 percent of females and 39 percent of males, who responded to the survey commissioned by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in January, said they put on weight during the outbreak, while only 8 percent said they lost weight.

On the upside, the number of people exercising has increased since the start of the outbreak, the survey also found. The number of people taking vitamin pills and nutritional supplements has leaped to 12 percent in January from 4 percent in October 2020.

The survey showed that people are suffering from sleep disorder and headache during the pandemic. Nearly 20 percent of those surveyed complained about headache, which is believed to be closely related to lack of sleep.

The outbreak also changed smoking and drinking habits in the country, according to the survey.

There has been a slight increase in the number of people smoking and drinking, while the number of people taking vitamin drugs have also been on the rise, it found. Some one-third of the public said they were cigarette addicts.

Over the months people have grown more pessimistic about a return to normalcy, the survey showed.

In a survey conducted in May 2020, the number of people who believed the country would put the outbreak behind in a year stood at as much as 64 percent.

But the January survey showed that people have become less optimistic about the prospects, with only 24 percent having said the outbreak would be over within a year.

More strikingly, 48 percent of those surveyed declared that they would not get the COVID-19 vaccine while the number of people who voiced trust in the Health Ministry and other state institutions handling of the outbreak dropped to 40 percent in January from 73 percent in May 2020.

Turkey’s vaccination program began on Jan. 14. To date, nearly 2.7 million people, mostly health care professionals and the elderly, have received the first shot of the injection developed by the Chinese firm Sinovac. Health care staff are expected to get their second dose of the vaccine starting on Feb. 11.

More people are now reporting that their relatives or acquaintances have contracted the virus. One out of two of those surveyed suggested that someone from their circle have had COVID-19, marking the highest figure. Some 42 of those who reported such cases live in western provinces while 64 percent reside in the eastern provinces. Experts said people in the eastern provinces appear to adhere to the virus less than those that live in the western part of the country.

Some 71 percent of the surveyed said they expected an economic crisis in the country, unchanged from the December 2020 survey. The number of people who said they expected their personal economic conditions to deteriorate increased to 64 percent in January from 62 percent in December 2020, the survey also showed.

Another finding of the study was the increased mobility. Back in April 2020, only 18 percent went to work but this figure increased to 35 percent in December 2020 and January.

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