Guys, don’t open that door (of the refrigerator) –

Teens and children, tried (and bored) by lock downs and zones – with relative prohibitions – of various colors, have become increasingly fond of the refrigerator in recent months. Distance learning for older children, reduced opportunities for physical activity and meeting with friends, have increased interest in food. With all the consequences that can be easily imagined. Plus some that we may not have thought of.

Body aspect in the foreground

Stefano Erzegovesi, specialist in Psychiatry and Food Science, director of the Eating Disorders Center of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, explains: A lot of time, more empty than free, has often prompted young people to take more interest in their own body appearance and the verdict of the balance. With the risk of dangerously approaching anorexic behavior to obey the diktat of thinness. While boredom may have induced a form of emotional eating – food as a substitute for everything that has been lacking, starting with contacts with peers – or even more likely towards binge eating disorder: large binges without real appetite, such it often leads to disgust even though it is swallowed up and even more often to self-disgust. All this perhaps during the night, given the lack of daytime commitments, or at all hours of the day, given the long stays at home.

Comfort food

The strange situation in which we found ourselves living – continues Erzegovesi – also prompted us to seek consolation in the so-called comfort food which, in the case of the very young, are often the foods of childhood, thus restricting food choices in a kind of regression to early life. So go ahead in search of very tasty foods – sweet but also salty – that do not need to be chewed or almost: ice cream, milk, soft cheeses, cold cuts, chips, hambuger, mayonnaise, sandwich bread, which moreover give an immediate feeling of satiety and satisfaction and are therefore highly consoling. In short, the pandemic may have pushed the very young towards too little or too much in terms of food. Young people are more fragile than we would like to believe, also because the IT means, of which they are certainly very skilled users, return a two-dimensional reality that does not replace that of “real” three-dimensional human contacts.

Limit damage

Given that Covid and the limits it has imposed on us are a reality to be reckoned with, the question is this: what can be done to limit the damage at least from a nutritional point of view? Reduce purchases of sausages and cheeses, especially of the type: “I open (the package) and eat”, and also of industrial products such as crackers, taralli, breadsticks. It is not a question of abolishing something altogether, but of making less of it and storing it in a way that is less accessible and visible. In short, less inviting. In practice, it is necessary to use the marketing techniques, typical of supermarkets, in which the products that you want to promote most are placed at eye level. Well visible and easily available, we therefore put fruit and vegetables.

An opportunity not to be missed

And also pay attention to the water. In the situation in which young people find themselves living, so often closed at home, they “feel” less about their body and therefore also the stimulus of thirst. In short, they are prey to a sort of sensory deprivation: therefore water is always available, perhaps in a clearly visible carafe placed on a piece of furniture. However – concludes Erzegovesi – we do not despair instead we take the opportunity and, in addition to organizing a refrigerator well stocked with vegetables and fruit already clean and portioned, since we are at home and have more time, we keep a supply of whole grain cereals and of legumes already cooked, ready to create a healthy and satisfying meal.

March 18, 2021 (change March 18, 2021 | 21:48)

© Time.News


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