Healthy Living: Pandemic weight gain, when does it impact your health?

Healthy Living

According to a study published in the Journal of Obesity, 27% of Americans have gained weight during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Amy Lee, an expert in weight control, obesity, and nutrition says many people who are stuck at home have easy access to snacks and are overeating. With fitness clubs closing in addition to anxiety and stress over the pandemic, have many people reaching for comfort foods.

Weight gain of even 5-10 pounds can add potential complications to your life, says Dr. Lee. She explains it can make people feel depressed, or anxious and can cause unexplained fatigue, pain, and aches.

Conversely, losing a little bit of weight can also make a huge impact.

According to Dr. Lee, research and clinical data say losing 3-5% of excess weight can have a positive medical impact.

“People often ask, ‘do I have to lose all of my excessive weight to live a healthier life?’ and the answer is no,” says Dr. Lee.

More important than weight loss, is weight maintenance or learning to live in your body at a normal weight.

If you’re unsure of where to start, Dr. Lee says to look back at behaviors you’ve had in place since March. Can you buy less “snacky” foods? Or clean out cabinets from sugary foods and refined carbs, replacing them with better options? She also suggests aiming for more movement.

For more information on the national activity guidelines, click here.

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