From Springfield to Santa Fe, from Plymouth to Peoria, we’re all sick of being stuck inside for way too much time. What was initially a novel kind of fun — who knew anyone other than those on a cruise ship or retirement center would like putting together jigsaw puzzles? — rapidly turned into indoor drudgery. Everyone tried to get outdoors as much as possible, but the reality is that we were all indoors at home way more than ever before. And that meant the refrigerator and pantry were all too close for comfort.
The results? The “quarantine 15,” a catchy phrase intended to detail the added few pounds we’ve all put on during this stupid virus.
Since a big part of what we do at Affirm Health Center is help our patients with their weight loss, let’s get into this quarantine 15 a bit.
Weight gain was almost inevitable
With all the tasty, but fat-filled, food choices and today’s sedentary lifestyles and work, people have trouble managing their weight under the best of circumstances. But when you throw in the stresses created by this virus, along with working from home, not being able to go to gyms and many other things (like recreational sports leagues), and other factors, this is the perfect storm for weight gain.
A survey in Britain confirmed this. The survey was conducted in the late spring of 2020, and it asked 800 adults about managing their weight during the pandemic. Over 63 percent of respondents said they found it “very” or “somewhat difficult” to manage their weight during the lockdown.
There were four main reasons given:
- Difficulty finding healthy food at the store
- Increased snacking while bored
- Eating in response to higher levels of stress and anxiety
- Less time spent exercising
The amounts of weight gained during this unusual time have been typically between 3 and 15 pounds. The weight gains, of course, are a concern because obesity puts patients at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, hypertension, and a number of other health issues.
During this pandemic, there’s an even more concerning aspect of weight gain. Obesity is one of the underlying conditions that puts a person as a higher risk of developing a more severe case of COVID 19.