From the WebMD Archives

Editor’s note: This story was updated May 19, 2020 to include new poll results from WebMD international readers.

May 18, 2020 -- Many readers say they have gained weight during stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, two new WebMD polls find.

Among the 1,012 U.S. WebMD readers questioned, about 47% of women said they gained weight “due to COVID restrictions.” About 22% of men said they gained weight.

Module: video
Ashley Koff, RD and Anahad O'Connor
Coronavirus in Context: Study Shows Weight Gain During LockdownsWebMD's Chief Medical Officer, John Whyte, speaks with Ashley Koff, CEO of The Better Nutrition Program, and Anahad O'Connor, a New York Times Health Reporter, about our new study that shows weight gain during the pandemic.455


JOHN WHYTE: You probably have

heard about the Freshman 15,

but have you heard

about the Coronavirus

15 or the Quarantine 15?

We're all stressed.

We're working from home,

we're not exercising,

we're eating comfort foods

all day, and we're gaining


But is now the time

to go on a diet?

Should we be doing

intermittent fasting or can

we just eat whatever we want?

I sat down a few minutes ago

with some nutrition experts who

give us tips and insights

as to what we should be doing

during these stressful times.

Ashley and Anahad, thanks

for joining me today.


for having me.

JOHN WHYTE: I want to start off

with this survey

that we ran on WebMD where we

found that respondents gained,

on average, eight

pounds over the last 90 days.

Ashley, are-- are you surprised

by this?

ASHLEY KOFF: You know, John,

I'm not.

Um, and I was--

I loved reading

through the survey results

and even looking at the context

internationally and seeing, you


places that I don't normally

think that you would have weight

gain in-- in that time period.

JOHN WHYTE: Anahad, is eight

pounds a lot?

That doesn't seem too much,

is it?

ANAHAD O'CONNOR: It does sound

like a lot, actually.

Um, especially if people are

going to, you know,

keep adding more and more weight

to that, which, you know,

could be the issue for a lot

of people.

JOHN WHYTE: I want to point out,

and we have a graphic,

that on average, people gained

eight pounds.

But 21% of people

gained 10 to 20 pounds.

4% of respondents gained over 21


What's the long term

implication, Ashley,

of this weight gain?

I mean, if we extrapolate

that, that can be, you know,

80 million Americans will have

gained 640 million pounds.

ASHLEY KOFF: I do think we have

a lot to be concerned about.

Uh, you know, one of the pieces

with that weight gain is,

and when-- if any time you look

at incrementally

10% of your weight

and you see an increase,

you have a direct correlation

to an increase in risk

of disease.

The other part is, we're very

likely talking about fat mass.

When we increase our fat mass,

what we are talking about,

uh, there, fat is not just

uncomfortable or, oh, it means

our clothes don't fit well.

It actually has

metabolic consequences as well.

JOHN WHYTE: Now, on Anahad,

they-- they mentioned,

72% said their reasons

for the weight gain

was lack of exercise.

But another 70% also said it was

stressful eating.

What do you think is really

contributing to the weight gain



I personally think

that a big part of it

is the stress eating.

And I also think that, for a lot

of people who are working

from home, for example,

you're now just feet away

from your kitchen

and from your pantry.

Which, you know, we see

from the data,

for a lot of people

are fully stocked with processed


So it's much easier

throughout the day

to take breaks

and to sneak into, you know,

the kitchen for a snack.

I've noticed that that's

something I've had to be very

mindful about.

Um, and then also, you know,

there is the exercise part of it

as well.

Gyms are closed.

Fitness studios are closed.

JOHN WHYTE: When we started

this news program,

we interviewed someone

on nutrition where they talked

about, you know what?

Now's not the time to be too

hard on yourself.

That if you want to eat some ice

cream, right now, that's OK.

Is that the same advice you'd

give people now, Ashley?

Don't be too hard on yourself.

ASHLEY KOFF: Number one, we

don't want to be

hard on ourselves.

Do we need to go on a diet?

Look, I never think that it's

a bad time to turn around

and say, hey, is my nutrition

giving my body what it needs

to run better,

am I maybe taking in too much

at one time.

Maybe I need professional help

with this.

You know, I got a lot

of colleagues who are doing


virtual dietetic sessions.

But I think the flipside of that

is, um, we don't have access

to everything, uh,

that we had access to before.

JOHN WHYTE: I'm going to end

with asking you, each of you,

to give us three specific tips

as it relates to nutrition

that we can be doing right

now during this pandemic.

And this time, I'm going

to start with Anahad.


like time-restricted eating.

That's-- that's one thing that

has some scientific, you know,

evidence for it and seems

to work for a lot of people

without being too restrictive.

Another thing I'd say

is watch for added sugar.

Um, we know from a lot

of studies that added sugar

increases your risk of, you


heart disease, obesity, weight

gain, all these things.

And it also just tends

to be a marker for unhealthy,

uh, processed foods.

So try to consume foods

that don't have a lot of added

sugars in them and then--

JOHN WHYTE: How do you

go for that?

What's the-- what advice do you

give so they know--

people aren't going to know what

added sugar means.

ANAHAD O'CONNOR: Oh, it's right

there on the label.

Thankfully, the FDA recently

started requiring that foods,

uh, or that companies, uh,

list the amount of added sugars

in their-- their products.

So if you just flip over

the back of the label,

you'll see if it has added

sugars or not.

You want something that,

you know,

doesn't have much added sugar,

so certainly less than a

few grams.

Or if it's a fruit

or a vegetable, it won't have

a label on it

and that's even better.

Um, and then the last one

I'd say-- this is not

a nutrition tip,

but it fits in there.

It's about exercise.

It's about, you know, the fact

that even a little

is better than none.

It's these little things.

You know, just not being too

restrictive, but just trying

to squeeze in exercise,

trying to look, you know,

make sure you're not consuming

too much added sugar,

trying to make sure you're not,

you know, eating late at night.

Those little things, I think,

will go a long way to helping

to prevent, um, you know,

packing on the pounds

during this time.

JOHN WHYTE: Ashley, your tips?

ASHLEY KOFF: I loved those.

Um, so my first tip would be

to eat a rainbow.

Not from Skittles or Froot

Loops, but to try to get

in a rainbow every day.

And the better nutrition rainbow

can include brown and white,

so things like cauliflower

and mushroom.

But not being too

concerned about which green is

better for you or which orange,

you know, and definitely spices

can help you meet your rainbow.

It's a fun game you can do

with your kids as well.

So I'd focus on, number one,

a rainbow.

The second thing, and it kind of

goes to what Anahad was talking

about with the intermittent--

or with the time restriction,

you'd probably best to keep

your eating or your nutrition

pit stops,

because sometimes we're drinking

nutrition, to about every three


So that would do better if you

space it out and-- as opposed

to having a larger amount at one

time, to try to space it out.

And don't worry so much if it's

a meal or a snack.

It's really about just trying

to pit stop every three hours as

opposed to,

uh, getting too much in at one


And then the third one is we've

got to get in water.

Water escorts the nutrients

inside our cells and it removes

waste products from us.

Uh, so that's going to-- also

helps with our satiety,

helps us to feel full.

So another thing is,

if you actually, every time

before you eat, you actually

drink maybe six or eight ounces

of water, that would be a really

good way to, uh, consistently be

pit stopping for water to help

those nutrients get

into the system

and waste to be removed,

et cetera.

JOHN WHYTE: Ashley and Anahad, I

want to thank you

for that advice.

ASHLEY KOFF: Thanks a ton.

ANAHAD O'CONNOR: Thanks, John.

JOHN WHYTE: And I want thank you

for watching Coronavirus

in Context.

change this... example: Neha Pathak, MD. Medical Editor, WebMD. John Whyte, MD, MPH. Chief Medical Officer, WebMD./delivery/aws/0f/e2/0fe28e67-76d2-335c-8ecb-6ee800611401/Koff_OConnor_05212d_,4500k,2500k,1000k,750k,400k,.mp405/22/2020 13:30:0018001200Ashley Koff, RD and Anahad O'Connor/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/article_thumbnails/video/covid19-images/Koff_OConnor_052120_1800x1200.jpg091e9c5e81f080bc

In a separate poll of 900 international WebMD readers, they also reported weight gain. But it was more common in men, with 55% reporting they had put on pounds compared to 34% of women.

Under many statewide restrictions in the U.S., people weren’t able to leave the house, and gyms were closed. Outside recreation areas, such as parks, trails, and greenspaces, were closed as well. Plus, parents took care of kids at home, and workers spent hours on the computer while teleworking. Similar shutdowns have taken place worldwide due to the pandemic.

The U.S. poll confirms national reports from the American Heart Association and Mayo Clinic. People have posted jokes on social media about inevitable weight gain, saying they’ve stacked on the “Quarantine 15” during stay-at-home guidelines.

Among U.S. readers who calculated the pounds:

  • 15% said they gained 1-3 pounds.
  • 34% said they gained 4-6 pounds.
  • 26% said they gained 7-9 pounds.
  • 21% said they gained 10-20 pounds.
  • 4% said they gained 21 pounds or more.

WebMD readers in the U.S. cited a number of reasons for the weight gain. About 72% reported a lack of exercise. About 70% said they’ve been stress eating. An overwhelming 59% said both a lack of exercise and stress eating were a problem, and 21% attributed it to “extra alcohol consumption.” The U.S. reader poll was conducted May 17.

Among international readers, 73% cited lack of exercise, 35% stress eating, and 17% to drinking more alcohol. The international reader poll was conducted May 18.

“That’s a significant amount of weight gain in a relatively short period of time. Obviously, obesity and overweight were already a significant issue and it appears, as a country, we may have recently gotten heavier -- and unhealthier,” said Michael Smith, MD, WebMD’s chief medical director.

According to the U.S. poll, about 42% of those who gained weight said they had “fallen off their diet.”

On the international poll, readers in these countries reported the most weight gain:

  • Italy 66%
  • Brazil 60%
  • Japan 51%
  • UK 46%
  • Canada 46%
  • Australia 45%
  • Russia 44%
  • India 37%
  • Singapore 33%
  • Germany 26%
  • Hong Kong 25%

“We’re turning to comfort foods to help ourselves feel better, but in reality, not only does it not help ease the stress and anxiety, it likely worsens it as people just don’t feel as good when eating high-fat, high-carb foods like many of us are turning to,” Smith said.

Module: video
Coronavirus in Context: Fitness Expert Demonstrates 5 Exercises You Can Do at HomeDoes exercise boost immunity? Fitness and wellness expert Don Saladino offers 5 modifiable exercises to stay active and off the couch.826


I'm Dr. John Whyte, Chief

Medical Officer at WebMD,

and welcome to Coronavirus

in Context.

Today, we're going to talk

about exercise and what you need

to be doing at home to stay

active and maybe even protect

yourself against coronavirus.

My guest is Don Saladino.

He's a fitness and wellness

expert based in New York City.

Don, thanks for joining me.

DON SALADINO: Thank you so much.

I'm excited to be here.

I appreciate it.

JOHN WHYTE: So with all of us

staying in, not getting out,

my number of steps

has decreased dramatically.

What do we need to be thinking

about in terms of exercise

and being active at home?

DON SALADINO: No, it's --

it's a great question.

I mean, initially after

the first week of us all being

quarantined, um, you know,

everyone was kind of searching

off the web and just trying

to grab any little exercise

or program to -- to be active.

But now that a few weeks have

gone by, I think people are

starting to realize that they

need more routine, um,

in their -- in their lifestyle.

And the first thing I tell

people to do is that you got

to break a sweat for 10 minutes

a day.

And even if you're a sedentary


because of the environment right

now, because of, you know,

the fact that we're all forced

to be at home, we've got

to carve out 10 minutes a day

where we can just get up, move

the joints around, get the heart

rate up a little bit, and just

allow fresh oxygen to kind

of move throughout the body,

which helps remove waste --

you know, which also, in turns,

helps lubricate our joints

and which is -- a, you know,

allows us to recover and feel


So, you know, it's imperative

that we move every day.

JOHN WHYTE: What about immunity?

Does exercise help us

with some immunity?

There's good data that show

it might.

What has your experience been?

DON SALADINO: Well first off,

I think exercise can be --

exercise is a stress.

And if we kind of overstay

our welcome

and we train too much,

yeah, there is a chance that it

could work against our immunity.

But what we're asking people

to do right now, which

is breaking a sweat 10,

15, 20 minutes a day, yes.

This is, again, going to help

with circulation.

It's going to help with blood


It's going to help

with endorphins in the body.

It's going to help lift

our mood.

And all of these things that I'm

listing have been shown to help,

um, improve our immunity.

JOHN WHYTE: And even with just

10 minutes a day?


I mean, it's again,

we have to get off the couch.

And I get a question every day,

well, am I better off doing

30 minutes three times a week,

or minimum 10 minutes a day?

I'm talking

about the bare minimum here.

I just got off the phone

with one of my clients

who's close to 70 years old.

And, you know, fortunately,

the gentleman's in great shape

and he's able to do pull-ups

and he's able to move and do

things a 20-year-old was

able to do.

And I think what happens in time

is, as we age,

we automatically make this

an excuse to stop moving.

And then as we stop moving,

our body kind of, you know,

loses the right to be able to do

these specific movements that we

were doing as children.

So the idea right now

is to get up for a minimum of 10

minutes a day,

get those joints moving,

make sure there's fluid

in the body,

fluid in the joints, making sure

that there's proper circulation

going through the body,

trying to move safely

in as many different planes

and patterns as possible,

and just be active.

I mean, at the bare minimum,

that's what I'm telling people

to do.

JOHN WHYTE: What about walking?

Is walking good?

DON SALADINO: Walking is great.

I mean, if you're looking

at between walking and running,

I mean, we're all

at different fitness levels.

And, you know, you might take

a specific individual outside

and have them, you know,

walk at a brisk pace for 20

minutes, and their heart rate

may get to 120 beats a minute.

On the other hand,

you could get someone who's,

you know, used to running,

and they could run at 120 beats

a minute for 20 minutes.

So I think it all depends

on your -- um,

your conditioning, your current

activity level, what your body

can handle.

And it's really less about going

out there

with this Rocky-type mentality,

and I think it's more about

going out into the real world

right now.

And our real world

is our backyard, our home, maybe

just being able to walk down

the block

and challenging ourselves

a little bit,

and trying to break a sweat,

and trying to walk

at a brisk pace, and, you know,

allowing, you know,

our bodies and our minds

to feel good.

JOHN WHYTE: And it might just

be an apartment that someone

has, and that's why we wanted,

uh, to talk to you

and hear, what can everyone

do in their own home?

You mentioned that 70-year-old.

I don't know if he's doing

pull-ups at home.

I don't know how, how to do it.

DON SALADINO: It's difficult.

It is very difficult.

JOHN WHYTE: In, in the house.

Um, but you're going to show us,

one of the five

exercises that basically anyone

can do at home

with no special equipment,

no excuses allowed.

Um, and then it might take --

as you said --

10 to 15 minutes, and can break

a sweat.

So can, can you show --

DON SALADINO: I'm gonna give

everyone -- yeah, perfect.

I'm going to give everyone five

movements right now that's going

to take no more than 10 minutes.

So what I'm going to do

is, I'm going to move back

to this mat.

All we need is the amount

of space that I have on this mat

right here, OK?

And listen, we're all going

to be at different levels.

And if you have to bring a chair

into the equation

for some balance

like I could do right now,

that's, you know,

that's a great, great idea.

So the first thing I'm going

to start with -- and we're going

to keep the chair here just

for safety, it's called

an inverted hamstring.

And the reason why I want to do

this is one, we all need to work

on our balance in life, OK?

And we need to make sure

that our hip is firing.

Because the amount of sitting

that we're doing right now,

our glute and our hip

tends to start to fall asleep.

And with this area falling



from a joint-by-joint approach,

the knee can take over

for the job that does glute

and the hip is responsible for,

or the lower back.

And that's why I find a lot

of times our lower backs

get sore.

Um, so what we're going to do,

is we're just going to lean


and we're gonna tap our hands,

and we're going to stand back


Really simple.

JOHN WHYTE: How many should we


DON SALADINO: We're going to do

eight reps each side,

and we're going to go for about

two reps, so really simple.

As we get better and better

at it, we can now move our chair

out of the way.



from there, it's just very

simple, hinge, stand back up,

touch down.

So what we're going to do

is, we're going to go for about

80 sides, we're going to switch

legs, going to the other side.

And I just love the balance

and stability on your foot,

into your ankle, into your knee,

into your hip,

and from a joint-by-joint

approach, it travels up

your entire body.

You're going to feel a lot

better, you're going to move

a lot better.

And you're going to find

that two sets of 80 sides

is going to get your heart

rate up, OK?

JOHN WHYTE: Start off slow

for those of the -- for those

of us who have been sitting

a while.


So, I mean, what I would

recommend -- and that's why I

like bringing the chair

into the equation because very

simply, we're just going to kind

of dive forward and stand back


Look what I'm doing right here.

I'm just putting my hand

straight down and I'm touching

my hands down on the back

of this chair,

and this is a very simple drill.

I -- I have my parents

in their early 70s working

on this drill right now.

So a lot of benefit

to that drill.


DON SALADINO: The next thing I'd

like to show

is I'd like to get everyone down

on the mat, OK?

And this is a drill called

the glute bridge.

And what I love

about the glute bridge,

again, we're targeting

the glutes right now,

and we're trying to, um,

bring some life back

into this area.

Most of our glutes

are inhibited,

so what I'd like you to do

is lay flat on your back,

arms across your chest,

and if you have a difficult time

stabilizing this position,

you can put your arms flap down

on the floor.

And we're gonna drive our hips

down, and then drive our hips

back up to the ceiling.

And we're going to perform 10

reps, at each rep I'm trying

to tense and squeeze my glutes

as hard as possible.

JOHN WHYTE: So we strive for 10,

but you'd settle for five.

DON SALADINO: These get a bit --

you know, and you know what?

And this is --

and that's an amazing question,

because what ends up happening

is even when I'm, when

I'm designing programs is that

we like to put a number.

And that number, for me,

is a range.

And if you're not getting 10,

or if you're not getting five,

that's fine.

If you can only perform three,

that's great.

Just write that down on a piece

of paper, understand that you

were able to perform two sets

of three today,

and the next session,

try and get four.

And just try and show

a little bit of improvement.

So it's not about going in there

with that Rocky-type mentality

and putting your foot

on the gas,

it's about being consistent,

coming back day in and day out,

putting in your best effort.

Because we're not going to get

stronger every day.

We're not going to improve

every day.

It's physically impossible, see,

if you understand that.

JOHN WHYTE: All right.

We do now.

DON SALADINO: Best exercise,

number two.

So now we're going to go

to something called

an open book.

We're going to stay down

on the ground.

So so far, we worked

on our balance,

we worked on our hips

and our glutes

between the standing, um, um,

inverted hamstring,

and the glute bridge.

And then we're going to lay

onto our side, and we're going

to go to an exercise called

an open book.

I'm going to show this

from both sides.

This is working

on thoracic rotation.

So what we're doing now

is we're just stacking our knees

very comfortably,

and I'm going to turn around

and I'm going to reach out

to the side.

My, my goal -- and I'll show you

from the other side --

my goal is to get my arm

flat to the floor, which is very


If we can't, if we --

if we're elevated to here

and that's our range of motion

right now,

I'm going to try and relax

and breathe and just

relax into the stretch

and open up.

And what this is doing right


is this is working

on thoracic rotation,

the ability

to rotate that thoracic spine.

It's working on separation

between the upper and the lower

half, and just the breathing


I never want anyone going

into the stretch with tension.

I don't want you forcing

the rep.

I want you breathing

into your ribs,

breathing into your belly,

and just trying to really relax

that nervous system and open up,

which is also tied into mobility

in the pecs, in the shoulder.

It's really, it's really

a tremendous upper body,

it's really

a tremendous upper body stretch.

JOHN WHYTE: And if you have pain

you stop, during the exercise.

DON SALADINO: At any point,

if you feel any sharp pain,

I would always recommend you

contact your orthopedist,

or if there's

a specific physical therapist

that you're comfortable with,

or, or you work with,

reach out to them.

Never push through pain.

Um, it's the worst thing for you

to do.

JOHN WHYTE: What are

those remaining exercises?

DON SALADINO: OK, we're going

to show you an exercise now,

this is for thoracic extension.

This is called a cat-cow,

or cat-dog.

So I'm going to get

onto all fours right now

and what we're going to do

is we're going to arch our back

to the ceiling, and we're going

to push away, chin to our chest.

And what I'm going to do

is like mentally try and arch

from the low back, mid back,

upper back, head to the ceiling,

and then pushing forward,

and then rounding forward,

all right?

And what I love

about this movement is because

of the amount of time

that we have to sit, it's always

forcing us.

Sitting is one of the worst

things that we can be doing

in life.

It's forcing us into this

kyphotic position, so not only

are our glutes like --

I like to say going to sleep,

but our, our upper backs are,

are becoming very kyphotic

and rounding forward.

So what this is doing right now,

it's forcing us to have

to stretch that mid-back area --

that thoracic spine --

into extension.

Not your lower back,

but your mid to upper back.

So just turning around and going

through 10 simple reps

of this cat and cow,

or you can call it cat and dog,

is tremendous for your,

for your spine.

JOHN WHYTE: All right.

Any more?


OK, the last one

I want to go into right now,

I actually have two more for you

if you guys don't mind, OK?

And these are very simple.

We're going to go

into a simple hip circle,

because we're already

on all fours.

We're going to get that hip

rotating in a circular pattern.

So I want you to think

about keeping your lower back

flat, not allowing your body

to open up.

And we're going to go roughly

three to five

in a counterclockwise direction.

And then three to 5

in a clockwise direction.

Very simple.

And we're going to switch sides,

three to five on both sides.



Really easy.

The last one I'm going to do

is, I want to bring everyone off

the mat again.

And this is a little bit

of a sweetener.

This is called a T-Y-L-M-W,

and this requires absolutely no


Even for someone like myself,

who, I enjoy training

with weights,

I can do this exercise

with a pair of soup cans,

and they work really well.

So a standing

T is going to be here,

so showing you from a profile,

my, my spine is flat.

We're going to raise out

to the side in a very controlled

fashion with my thumbs

up, so we're going to go roughly

10 reps.


DON SALADINO: We're going to go

into a Y, which now, if I come

dead-on here,

we just went out to the side

from the T.

The Y is going to look

like we're almost doing

a standing Y, a Y. OK?

We're going to go 10 reps here.

We're going to go into our L,

is a row.

Rotate, and then our last row,

we're going to do

is a W to close out

the whole workout.

So thumbs out to the side,

elbows touching, thumbs up,

elbows out to the side.

JOHN WHYTE: Did you --

DON SALADINO: And we're going

to roughly 10 rounds.

JOHN WHYTE: Did you break

a sweat, Don?

DON SALADINO: You know what?

What's interesting about this

is, yes.

I'm, I'm talking,

but as I'm going

through this stuff,

I feel my body unlocking.

What I like to refer --

I mean, the best example I like

to give people is,

if I'm dropping a boat motor

into the water.

If we sit for too much,

and we don't move

and we're inactive,

it's like leaving that boat

engine in the water

without running it.

And barnacles are going to grow

on it, and then moss is going

to grow on the bottom

of the hull.

And then when you try and run it

a days, few months later,

it's not going to run


But if we get on that boat

maybe once a day,

or once every day we run it

for five minutes,

it's never going to develop all

that moss, all that crud

on the bottom of the boat,

or on the engine, and the boat's

going to move smoothly.

So this is the best example

with the human body.

We have to go out

and we have to kind of chop

those barnacles off our joints,

and we've got to get our bodies


It's just for 10 minutes a day.

That's all I'm telling people

at the bare minimum.

If they want to do more,

let's get after it.

JOHN WHYTE: Absolutely.

So five exercises, even if we

do a few and, and work up

to that.

I want to thank you, Don, for,

for taking the time.

DON SALADINO: Thank you.

JOHN WHYTE: And, and being

a good sport, and,

and demonstrating them for us.

DON SALADINO: I appreciate it.

Thanks, John.

JOHN WHYTE: And thank you

for watching Coronavirus

in Context.

I'm Dr. John Whyte.

Don Saladino, Trainer. John Whyte, MD, MPH. Chief Medical Officer, WebMD./delivery/aws/95/4c/954c0025-fe4f-350d-9798-561f2551af83/091e9c5e81eb29f9_coronavirus-in-context-don-saladino_,4500k,2500k,1000k,750k,400k,.mp404/10/2020 14:04:00180012001800x1200_coronavirus_in_context_ep_017_don_saladi/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/article_thumbnails/video/coronavirus_in_context_ep_017_don_saladino_video/1800x1200_coronavirus_in_context_ep_017_don_saladino_video.jpg091e9c5e81eb29f9

The findings also point to the high stress and anxiety that people are facing about the uncertainty of the pandemic, economy, and job loss -- and the effects that can have on healthy eating and exercise routines.

As states and countries begin to lift restrictions, people may feel encouraged to safely rejoin gyms that practice safe physical distancing and sanitation practices. Parks, trails, and greenspaces have also begun to reopen.

A few pounds of weight loss can make a difference. Even a modest decrease can lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels and improve the negative consequences associated with diabetes and heart disease.

“Hopefully as the ‘new normal’ is settling in, people can now find the motivation to get back to a more regular schedule, reach for more healthy foods, and look for opportunities to incorporate more activity throughout their day,” Smith said.

WebMD Health News


American Heart Association: “Eat healthy, move your body to avoid ‘the COVID-19.’”

Mayo Clinic: “Packing on pounds during COVID-19 and how to turn it around.”

WebMD poll of 1,012 U.S. readers, May 17, 2020.

WebMD poll of 900 international readers, May 18, 2020.

Michael Smith, MD, chief medical director, WebMD.

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