If only it was only the “quarantine 15”.
Most people have struggled to maintain their weight during the pandemic, with 61% of U.S. adults reporting unwanted weight gain or loss since the coronavirus outbreak. It is according to a new American Psychological Association (APA) survey more than 3,000 people released each year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Before the pandemic, about four in 10 Americans (some 93.3 million adults) were already obese, According to the CDC. And according to the latest APA report “Stress in America” Report, more than two in five of the adults surveyed (42%) revealed that they had gained more weight than expected in the past 12 months. And they gained 29 pounds on average.
In fact, one in ten people report putting on more than 50 pounds, which the APA says is a sign that people are struggling to cope with mental health issues. (Indeed, the report also found that one in three Americans is sleeping less during the pandemic, and more than half of parents said the level of stress in their lives has increased.)
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A recent WebMD survey of over 1,000 readers also revealed that more than half (54%) of those polled said they had gained weight “due to COVID-related restrictions” disrupting their health routines. Some 54% said they exercised less and 68% admitted they snacked more.
Even Goop wellness guru Gwyneth Paltrow revealed at a recent virtual event that she gained 14 pounds in nine months. “I felt like my wine, pasta, cookies, crackers and cheese were getting me through,” she said. (In true Hollywood form, however, she’s already lost weight.)
And this has led to terms like ‘the Covid 15’ as people complain about turning to alcohol and comfort food during the online pandemic, reminiscent of the ‘Freshman 15’ some students acquire when they enter. for the first time in college.
These extra pounds are troubling, however, especially in times of global health crisis. The National Institutes of Health warns that such significant weight gain poses serious long-term health risks. People who gain more than 11 pounds have a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease and type II diabetes, for example, while those who gain more than 25 pounds have a higher risk of stroke.
And in a sick twist, that extra weight people have taken on as a result of the pandemic can actually make them Following susceptible to COVID-19. Obesity increases the risk of serious illness from COVID-19, CDC reports, and overweight people may also be at greater risk. Obesity can also triple the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19. And as the body mass index (BMI) increases, so does the risk of death from COVID-19.
This is why some states like New York and Illinois have listed obesity as an eligible co-morbid condition that may allow adults under the age of 60 or 65 to receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Adults aren’t the only ones with increasing waistlines as the country has sheltered in place, gyms have closed, and some people have turned to consuming comfort food or consuming more alcohol to help. coping with the stress of the pandemic, losing their jobs, or last year’s controversial electoral cycle.
Paediatricians warn that disruption of in-person schooling, sports and other activities causes children gain weight too.
And vets report that pets get chubby. Banfield Pet Hospital, the nation’s largest general veterinary practice with hospitals in 42 states, surveyed nearly 1,000 dog and cat owners in October 2020. Some 42% of pet parents admitted their pets had taken weight during quarantine, against 33% in May, The Wall Street Journal reported.
So what can you do?
MarketWatch previously spoke with several leaders in obesity research and prevention who have reviewed the science surrounding weight gain and loss to explain what to eat and what to eat. avoid ; how much exercise you need and which workouts work best; along with their tips for incorporating these movements into your daily routine.
From the archives: Your BS-Free Guide to Losing Weight in the New Year
Mental health experts have also shared their coping strategies reduce feelings of existential terror; communicate with family and friends remotely; and find ways to be kind to yourself and find joy, even inside your bubble.