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Pandemic weight gain: Not your imagination
- By Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter
Has your waistline expanded since the pandemic began? You’re not alone. A small study, described in a research letter published online March 22, 2021, by JAMA Network Open, analyzed more than 7,400 self-reported weight measurements from about 270 middle-aged men and women across the country from February to June 2020. During that time, participants’ weight steadily increased by about 1.5 pounds per month. If that monthly weight gain has continued from February 2020 until June 2021, that would be a 25-pound weight gain. That’s a lot. For most people, it would mean they had become overweight or obese, even if they had not been before the pandemic. Extra pounds can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. If you’ve put on a few pounds recently, you don’t have to rush to take them off. Gradually decrease extra calories and increase physical activity — even if it’s just a few extra minutes of walking per day.Image: © Delpixart/Getty Images
About the Author
Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter
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