WEDNESDAY, Jan. 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Have you watched your waistline expand during isolation? You are not alone.
Nearly half of American adults gained extra pounds during their first year pandemic, making the national obesity the crisis is even worse, a new study shows.
“Obesity was an epidemic before the pandemic, and little was known about it body weight last year’s changes for adult Americans, “said lead researcher Jagdish Khubchandani, a professor of public health at New Mexico State University.” We wanted to assess changes in weight in the U.S. population and its determinants after the first year of the pandemic. “
To do so, Khubchandani and his colleagues surveyed more than 3,400 adults and found that 48% said they gained weight during the first 12 months of the pandemic – from March 2020 to April 2021.
Those who reported weight gain more likely to be men, whites or Hispanics, married, aged 45 or over, have a full-time job, have less than a college education and live in southern and western states or rural areas.
Researchers also found that people were more likely to gain weight if they were overweight before the pandemic (slightly more than twice as likely), if they had children at home (1.39 times), had depression or anxiety (1.25 times), or a verified body weight within the last six months (1.32 times).
The study was published in the January issue of the journal Diabetes and metabolic syndrome: clinical trials and reviews.
A worrying finding is that weight gain is more likely among certain groups that are already vulnerable to poorer health outcomes, Khubchandani said.
A pandemic can increase existing health disparities and increase the burden of chronic disease for some groups, he explained.
“It’s the perfect health storm,” Khubchandani said in a university statement. “The United States consists of an adult population in which the majority suffers from chronic disease, is overweight or is obese, unsatisfactory physical activity guidelines, or have unhealthy eating patterns with less consumption fruits and vegetables. “
A previous study by the University of New Mexico found that the pandemic triggered unhealthy eating habits associated with stress in Americans.
“Our study addresses many national trends that indicate high stress in some groups such as parents, primary workers and those with limited incomes and lower education,” Khubchandani said. “Even before the pandemic, stress it has been a major determinant of the unhealthy lifestyle of adult Americans, and the problem continues to worsen for certain groups. “
The American Psychological Association has more on the COVID-19 pandemic and weight gain.
SOURCE: New Mexico State University, press release, January 14, 2022