Covid-19 has taken a toll on well-being in Europe, OECD says

Covid-19 has taken a toll on well-being in Europe, OECD says
Credit: Belga

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s lives, but especially on the physical and mental well-being of young people in Europe, with symptoms of depression increasing sharply, according to a new report.

In 2021, for example, life expectancy in the European Union fell by one year, the largest decline in most EU countries since the Second World War, according to the report, published on Wednesday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

By the end of October, more than one million deaths from Covid-19 were reported in the 27 EU member countries, the report added, believing this figure to be an underestimate. More than 90% of the deaths occurred in people over 60.

In its report, the OECD highlights the serious consequences of the pandemic on the mental and physical well-being of millions of young Europeans. Their social activities and their education have been disrupted by the health measures, the researchers say.

In several European countries, including Belgium, France, Sweden and Norway, the number of depressive symptoms observed in young people doubled during the pandemic.

The researchers also noted a decline in physical activity among many children and young people, and a deterioration in their eating habits. This points to an increase in obesity among young people, the OECD concluded.

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