Obesity Was Found on American People After COVID-19 Pandemic


In the United States, adult obesity was elevated and remained upward before the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many studies have reported on small and relatively similar online surveillance of American adult weight gain during early pandemic periods, this study uses data from a large, nation-wide Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) study of adult population in the United States. It contains data on health effects, health-related risk behaviors, preventive services, and chronic medical conditions.


The analysis of BRFSS data used linear regression models controlling age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, household income, marital status, number of children, survey year indicators, and residency status indicators to assess the overall variability of adult obesity and four obesity-related risk factors during COVID-19 infections.

According to an analysis of more than 3.5 million US adults (aged 20 and over) from 2011 to 2020 BRFSS, obesity was 3% higher in early March 2020 than in the period from 2019 to pre-pandemic 2020. This study also found statistically significant changes among American adults in four risk factors related to obesity during infections: exercise participation, sleep duration, alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking.

Exercise participation and sleep duration were 4.4% and 1.5% higher, respectively, while alcohol consumption was 2.7% higher and cigarette smoking exposure was 4% lower. The overall increase in exercise and sleep was not sufficient to compensate for the impact of other behaviors, resulting in an average increase of 0.6% in body mass index during COVID-19 infections. Although quitting smoking is a healthy activity, it is known to cause some weight gain.

Our results, which are broadly consistent with what prior studies have found using smaller and less representative samples, contribute additional insights that can serve to inform policymakers about the state of the US adult obesity epidemic and obesity-related risk factors,” noted Dr. Restrepo, adding, “Because obesity affects some adults more than others, it would be helpful to further explore the changes in the rates of adult obesity by demographic subgroup and socioeconomic status.

Source: Medindia

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