OLD TOWN – The COVID-19 pandemic has caused obesity levels to rise, which can increase the risk of getting the coronavirus.
With people being stuck at home for seven months, the Center Disease of Control and Prevention reported the pandemic has fueled obesity.
“The combination of that disruption and unexpected stresses and lack of control has led to a fair amount of eating and exercising. So it certainly compounded the underlying risk of obesity that plagues northern and eastern Maine,” said Dr. Michelle Toder, director of Medical Weight Loss, Northern Light EMMC.
According to the CDC, nearly 40% of US adults are obese and 32% are overweight.
Dr. Toder said being overweight puts elderly Mainers at greater risk of catching illnesses, including COVID-19.
“Poverty, lack of access to healthy food, lack of access to places to exercise, no child care, low paying jobs, unemployment, in our part of Maine, we see a lot of those issues,” said Dr. Toder.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is important watch the foods you put in your body as well as exercising on a daily basis.
“A lot of people started doing things outdoors. There’s been a huge spike in hiking groups that seemed to be a really popular thing this summer. People started doing home gyms just generic exercises in their basic household,” said Cody Levensalor, director of Healthy Living, YMCA.
However, with the winter and holiday seasons creeping our way, it is more likely for people to become lazy, stay inside, and gain more weight.
Dr. Toder advises people to gain control and find hobbies to keep active.