Have you gained 15 pounds during the COVID-19 pandemic? You are not alone. The pandemic has changed our lifestyles often limiting our ability to follow a regular exercise routine.
During the pandemic, grocery shopping was deemed essential. For many, their life is centered on food and eating. It is one activity that people could do during the months of quarantine. Add activities such as watching television, gaming and social media use and you could face an increase in your weight.
For some people working from home for the past year, they have easy access to the kitchen and thus snacks and less healthy foods. Also, the stress caused by the pandemic can lead to weight gain.
“Anecdotally, we are definitely seeing weight gain. You can put on 30 pounds really quickly—you can do it in three months.”John Morton, MD, MPH, MHA, medical director of bariatric surgery at Yale New Haven Health System
Now it’s time to reverse the trend and lose those unnecessary pounds. Get started this month during healthy eating month.
Why eat healthy?
- To lower your health risks. Choosing healthier foods can help you lower your risk for chronic health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- To stay strong and active. Healthy foods have the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs to stay strong and live a longer life.
- To manage your weight. A healthy diet and physical activity can help you stay at a healthy weight.
- To set a positive example. If you have children, the healthy food options your child sees you make now can impact their eating patterns throughout their lifetime.
- To save money. When a person eats healthy and lives a healthy lifestyle, he or she is less likely to develop costly chronic illnesses in life. A healthy lifestyle can help you avoid spending thousands of dollars on doctors’ visits and medications later in life.
- To improve mood and mental health. What you eat has a direct impact on your brain which regulates your mood. Also, eating healthy foods can help to keep your mind from feeling foggy and distracted.
- To help improve your quality of sleep. People who avoid large amounts of caffeine and foods high in sugar and fat are more likely to have higher quality sleep.
- More than 1 in 3 of adults and nearly 1 in 5 children or adolescents are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, which are among the leading causes of illness and death.
- Fewer than 1 in 3 adults get the recommended amount of vegetables each day.
- Approximately 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.
- More than 23 million Americans — including 6.5 million children — live in food deserts. Food deserts are neighborhoods, cities, or towns that lack access to affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that make up the full range of a healthy diet.
- Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.
*Harvard Health Publishing. 2016. Healthy Eating: A guide to the new nutrition today.
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