New Study reveals why people gained weight during the Pandemic

by NewsWire
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Do you feel like you packed on the pounds during the Pandemic? You’re not alone. A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that the number of obese people increased in the first year of the Pandemic as compared to the year before that.

The evidence and analysis are based on a nationwide survey which was aimed at shedding light on the widespread weight gain among the population in 2020.

The survey was conducted across 3.5 million adults in the US who were 20 years or older and the study found that obesity was 3 percent more prevalent in 2020 as compared to 2019.

The study also found significant changes among these adults on four obesity-related risk factors through the pandemic. These were: sleep duration, exercise participation, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.

As per the study the exercise participation was higher by 4.4 percent and sleep duration also saw a jump of 1.5 percent. The number of days alcohol was consumed also shot up by 2.7 percent and the only figure that was lower was cigarette smoking, which was lower by 4 percent.

Even though sleep and exercise were more, these were not sufficient enough to offset other weight-gaining activities and hence caused the higher number of obese people in 2020.

As per the study those who gained weight also reported, decreased physical activity, frequent snacking and higher alcohol consumption. Most mentioned that these habits were largely developed during the lockdown phase when everyone was forced to stay indoors for long hours.

The reasons for the weight gain are no different than other times, but the number of people who gained weight around the same time was significant enough to prompt further observation on the matter.

The lead investigator of the study, Dr. Restrepo, concluded that, “Our results, which are broadly consistent with what prior studies have found using smaller and less representative samples, contribute additional insights that can serve to inform policymakers about the state of the US adult obesity epidemic and obesity-related risk factors.”

He also added that obesity as a condition tends to affect certain adults more than others and so it would be helpful “to further explore the changes in the rates of adult obesity by demographic subgroup and socioeconomic status,” he said.

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