Canada's health chief fears for people's mental health as alcohol consumption spikes

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jun 08, 2020, 11:16 AM IST


Story highlights

Increased alcohol and junk food consumption, according to her, point to a bigger problem of mental fatigue

Canada’s consumption of alcohol and junk food has gone up during the pandemic. On Sunday, the country’s top health official Theresa Tam expressed fears of the deteriorating mental health of Canadians.

Increased alcohol and junk food consumption, according to her, point to a bigger problem of mental fatigue.

Canada claims to have passed the “worst of coronavirus”, with the number of infections dipping across the country. On Saturday, the death rate increased by 0.9 per cent. So far, 7,703 people have been killed.

Currently, the country has recorded 95,057 cases of coronavirus.

As the world reels from the economic fallout of lockdowns, most countries are abandoning the total closure approach in favour of precautionary lifestyles, asking people to restart working but while practicing all the needed restrictions.

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam attends a news conference, as efforts continue to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 9, 2020.
A park worker paints circles to help visitors maintain social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Trinity Bellwoods park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada May 28, 2020 | Reuters

All ten provinces across Canada are now in the process of reopening. Restrictions on social gatherings will also be lifted. Unemployment in the country has increased with analysts warning the recovery set to take years.

"I am concerned about Canadians' mental health ... more Canadians have increased their consumption of alcohol and junk food or sweets since the beginning of the pandemic," Tam said in a statement.

Tam referred to a survey conducted by Statistics Canada on the effects of the pandemic. The focus of the study was mental health, whereby almost 20 per cent respondents claimed to have been suffering from moderate or severe anxiety.

"While social interactions and activities might look different right now, Canadians should be actively looking for safe ways to socialize, engage in physical activity and make ... healthy food choices," she said.

The country witnessed an increase of 6.7 per cent in the sales of tobacco during February-March.

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)