Being on lockdown was already hard enough mentally and now we are starting to see the physical ramifications of having less freedom to move around as well as a change in our appetites. A new WEB Md poll found that 47% of women gained weight during the quarantine while this only occurred for 22% of men.
In a poll of more than 1,000 U.S. readers, 75% reported gaining between one and nine pounds, 21% said they had gained between 10 and 20 pounds, and 4% said they had gained more than 21 pounds. In other words, the “Quarantine 15” was no joke.
It was hard to keep weight off as people were restricted from doing their normal activities like going to a gym, team sports and just feeling comfortable going about their normal daily routines. Stress eating or eating food for comfort is a real thing and many of the people surveyed said drinking alcohol was definitely a factor (21% said that contributed to their weight gain.) In a recent report on stress eating, researchers from Fit Rated wrote, “Emotional eating, also known as stress eating, is not an illusion. Many people use food not only to quell their cravings but also to feed their emotions. They eat when they feel anxious, depressed, or lonely.”
Of course, if you were at a healthy weight before the pandemic 10-15 lbs isn’t detrimental to one’s health. However, for people that were obese before the pandemic who then gained weight this put them at even higher risk for COVID-19. Researchers from New York University linked factors like age, obesity, and chronic illness at raising the risk of COVID-19 hospitalizations. In one study, researchers at NYU Langone Health found that obesity is a risk factor for patients under the age of 60.