WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A new study revealed that Americans gained nearly 2 pounds per month during the lockdown.
- The researchers suggested that the weight gain could be caused by a lack of activity and constant accessibility to food.
- They called for measures that promote healthy eating and regular exercise amid the pandemic response.
A recent study from the researchers at the University of California San Francisco revealed that Americans gained nearly 2 pounds per month during the lockdown.
The research team, which aimed to estimate the health consequences of prolonged lockdowns, published a letter detailing the results to JAMA Network Open on Monday.
Using data from 269 participants across 37 states and Washington, D.C involved in the Health eHeart Study, the researchers looked into the individuals’ weight measurements, tracked using Bluetooth-enabled scales such as Fitbit, from February to June 2020.
In an e-mailed statement to FOX News, Cardiologist and UCSF professor of medicine Dr. Gregory Marcus wrote, “We found that, while weights were actually headed down (losing weight) pre-pandemic, they rose significantly as shelter in place order took hold.”
Regardless of location or comorbidities, a “steady weight gain at a rate of 0.27 kg (about 0.6 pounds) every 10 days” was observed across nearly 8,000 weight measurements among the 269 participants. The researchers added, “These results translate into approximately 1.5 lb of weight gain every month.”
While their study did not determine the reasons for weight gain, the researchers assumed that it was caused by a “lack of physical activity plus possibly more constant accessibility to food while working from home,” Marcus explained.
Another study limitation is that participants “were particularly interested in health and going to the trouble of weighing themselves on a regular basis” — and therefore do not represent the general population, Marcus noted.
“It is possible our findings substantially underestimate the magnitude of the true weight-gain effects among the population at large,” he warned.
The research team called for individual and government efforts to introduce strategies to reduce weight gain, such as promoting healthy eating and regular exercise amid the pandemic response.
Marcus suggested, “We don’t realize how much exercise we get simply walking up the stairs to a meeting instead of clicking on the next Zoom link or walking across the street to grab some coffee instead of down the hall to our kitchen.”
It’s important to incorporate exercise as part of your daily routine, “like an appointment you can’t miss,” he added.
Source: FOX News