While the intention of the lockdown was to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the unintended consequences have led to an economic crisis, record-high unemployment and a plumper population.
In a survey conducted in the last two months among almost 2000 adults, 45 percent of respondents said lockdown regulations impacted their eating and exercise habits for the worse.
A whopping 44% picked up between two and five kilos while 15% gained six to 10 kilos and 4% gained an extra 10 kilos or more.
Even the pets haven’t been spared - increased weight gain in 15% of pets was also reported.
The results are not really surprising considering that 34% of respondents said their diet consists mainly of takeout and ready-made meals, while 42% are exercising less than before the pandemic, and 28% simply ate out of boredom.
Pharma Dynamics, the largest provider of cardiovascular medicine in the country, commissioned the survey to assess the effect of the pandemic and lockdown on the nation’s eating and exercise patterns.
“Treats and calories are up, while exercise is down, which is never a healthy combination,” spokesperson Nicole Jennings said.
“Limited access to daily grocery shopping may have led to reduced consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables in favour of highly processed food.
“In times of stress and uncertainty, people also find solace in comfort food, which tends to be low in nutritional value and high in carbohydrates, fats, salt and sugar.”
The sudden jump in weight significantly increases the population’s risk of hypertension, which already stood at 35% before the coronavirus pandemic, the report said.