As the coronavirus pandemic has kept Americans locked inside their homes for several months, it's become apparent that many people are picking up new and potentially dangerous habits.
With more people turning to drinking as a coping mechanism, alcohol consumption has skyrocketed – online alcohol sales have risen 243 percent over the last year, according to Nielsen Data. In the third week of March, as the lockdown began, the industry saw a 55 percent increase in sales compared to 2019.
Dr. Nicole Saphier told FOX Business’ Cheryl Casone on "Mornings with Maria" that in order to break bad habits such as binge drinking, eating and excessive screen time, it’s important to begin limiting your intake.
“As we all are well aware, there are long term consequences of regular and increased alcohol consumption,” she said. “So the recommendation is to not have any more than one glass of alcohol a day for women, one and a half to two for men. And it seems that people are having a lot more than that right now during the lockdown.”
Dr. Saphier said binge eating has also become a trend, which not only increases weight and obesity but has direct links to cardiovascular disease and some cancers. For some people, she said, binge eating is an emotional response.
“They’re not actually dealing with their emotions in a healthy way, they're doing it in terms of eating,” she said. “So first of all, you want to acknowledge that you're overeating, binge eating a little bit, and then try to figure out what are healthier ways that you can channel some of that, maybe, anxiety or even boredom. Exercise, calling a friend, getting out and going for a walk.”
Being sedentary during the lockdown is overall dangerous for your mental and physical health, Dr. Saphier said, and developing a habit of scrolling through social media doesn’t help.
“When it comes to mental health, social media is not necessarily good for it,” she said. “And we are all spending a lot more time on our devices and watching the news because we're waiting for the latest headline, the latest update. Not only does that promote you kind of sitting and being sedentary -- also not good for your weight -- but it does fuel some anxieties and depressions and it's just not good for your overall mental health.”
Dr. Saphier encourages people to get up and unplug, being sure to lessen time spent online. Overall, she said, eating lighter, moving your body and reaching out to loved ones will lead to a healthier lifestyle.