Is it just me, I wondered, or is weight gain a problem in the pandemic? I looked in the mirror and sighed. My pants, which were loose three months ago, had filled out. I stuck my tongue out at my reflection. How had I gained so much weight? What was wrong with me?
If you’ve gained weight during the coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone. One doctor says he’s seen patients who gained 10, 20, or even 30 pounds during the lockdown. Multiple doctors attribute these gains to stress and the change in normal routine; it can be difficult to adapt new exercise routines when the gym is closed! A survey conducted by the University of Missouri’s Health System found that 68% of those who answered were snacking more; 54% were working out less; and 58% had gained weight. Pandemic weight gain even has a snazzy name: the “Quarantine 15”.
While it’s counterproductive and cruel to shame people for their weight gain, it is true that obesity can be a contributing factor in the severity of coronavirus, if you catch it. One study found that people with obesity were 78% more likely to die of coronavirus than others. There are ways to fight weight gain, but it may be time to get creative if your gym is closed. Do you live in a safe enough neighborhood to take a walk? Do you have any friends you can meet up with, and make it more fun?
Most important, however, is remembering that we’re living in the middle of a pandemic. It’s important to be gentle with ourselves, and stay safe! If you’re looking for more suggestions, check out this list.