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The silent pandemic: How lockdown is affecting future health

By August 4, 2020National News

According to latest research from the COVID Symptom Study app, almost a third (29%) of those surveyed gained weight since March 2020.

This data suggests an average increase in body weight across the country being 0.78 kg (1.6 lbs), and up to 3 kg (6.5 lbs) in those who reported increased snacking have gained weight. The factors that may have contributed to weight gain during lockdown include increased snacking (35%), decreased levels of physical activity (34%), increased alcohol consumption (27%) and a less healthy  diet (19%).

The COVID Symptom Study app has now been downloaded by over 3.5 million people in the UK, with 1.6 million users participating in the questionnaire about behavioural changes during the lockdown through the app.

Data from the app has already added to the body of evidence suggesting that those who are obese (BMI over 30) are at least 20% more likely to hospitalised with symptoms of COVID-19  (opens in a new tab) compared with those in lower BMI categories. People living with pre-existing conditions that are associated with obesity, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease, are also at 1.5 to 2-fold increased risk of hospitalisation. (opens in a new tab)

The research comes at the same time the prime minister, whose personal experience with COVID-19 and his weight has led to the announcement of multiple new measures such as a ban on junk food companies advertising before the 9pm watershed, and hiding sweets and snacks from checkouts.

You can read the full report here (opens in a new tab)

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