COVID-19

6 in 10 U.S. adults gained weight during pandemic

Data shows we gained about 2 pounds a month during lockdown.

Overall, Americans gained a lot of weight during the pandemic. A side effect of staying indoors and avoiding social gatherings has led to more alcohol consumption, more food, and less physical activity – all things that have caused an increase in unwanted weight gain.

A February survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) showed that 61% of adults in the U.S. experienced some amount of undesired weight change during the pandemic. In many cases that meant weight gain, but some people also reported stress-induced weight loss as well.

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That wasn’t the only finding of the survey – 62% of respondents also indicated they weren’t sleeping well, and nearly a quarter of Americans said they were drinking more alcohol as a means to cope with pandemic anxiety.

In another study, reported on by the New York Times, researchers used data acquired by Bluetooth-enabled scales to track weight trends. The data indicated that people under shelter-in-place orders, such as those required in the early days of the pandemic, gained an average of half-a-pound every ten days. That equates to nearly two pounds each month.

“We’ve been concerned throughout this pandemic about the level of prolonged stress, exacerbated by the grief, trauma and isolation that Americans are experiencing,” said APA Chief Executive Officer Arthur C. Evans Jr. “This survey reveals a secondary crisis that is likely to have persistent, serious mental and physical health consequences for years to come.”

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