This article originally appeared in Psychology Today.
We’re more than one year into the global pandemic that has kept many Americans sequestered in their homes and taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when they go out. Not surprisingly, these changes in how and when we interact with others has led to changes in our mental and physical health. Among those changes, emerging data show that many Americans have gained weight, are drinking more alcohol, and are not sleeping well.
A nationally-representative survey of 1,500 Americans conducted this year by the American Psychological Association found that more than 40 percent of Americans gained “more weight than they intended” during the pandemic. The average weight gain was 29 pounds, with 10 percent of participants reporting more than 50 pounds of weight gain. In addition, 18 percent of Americans reported losing more weight than they wanted to; the average amount of weight lost among this cohort was 26 pounds.