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Don’t stress, COVID weight gain is totally normal

More than 60% of adults say they’ve had undesired weight changes since the start of the pandemic. Photo: Pexels

(Cynthia Saas/ Health) — Throughout the pandemic, I’ve heard similar stories from clients, friends, and family members: So many of them had slipped into patterns of overeating and excess drinking that lasted for months. And at the same time, as gyms closed and people were encouraged to stay at home, many of them stopped being physically active. Of course, this scenario wasn’t isolated to just people I know—it played out across the country.

One survey showed that 47% of US adults have eaten more food during the pandemic than they otherwise usually would. And a poll from the American Psychological Association (APA) found that 23% of adults reported drinking more alcohol to cope with stress during the pandemic. As for exercise, a 2021 study published in BMC Public Health concluded that levels of physical activity were significantly lower during social distancing than they were before the pandemic. (…)