Many Americans struggled with weight gain during the pandemic

One Ozarks couple challenged themselves to lose pounds
Unhealthy weight gains and increased drinking since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. That's...
Unhealthy weight gains and increased drinking since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. That's what the American Psychological Association has found from their latest "Stress In America” poll.(NBC)
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 6:21 AM CDT
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A new study shows that 61% of Americans had an undesired weight change since the pandemic started. The American Psychological Association breaks down weight gain and weight loss between different genders, ages and more.

The Stress in America Pandemic survey shows 39% of men gained 37 pounds and 45% of women gained 22 pounds. Another interesting finding is that 48% of millennials gained 41 pounds while 37% of boomers gained 16 pounds.

Dr. Barbara Bumberry with Mercy Hospital Springfield said she isn’t sure why millennials, ages 25 to 42 gained the most.

”I don’t know specifics it could be it’s not that long from when they were living at home or maybe they are still living at home,” said Dr. Barbara Bumberry with Mercy Hospital Springfield. “Maybe they don’t know how to cook. Maybe they’re used to microwave meals that aren’t the healthiest. Maybe it was their eating habits at home.”

Bumberry said with more people working from home means they’re not getting out as much. They’re not exercising and they’re eating junk food.

Not everyone gained weight, many took advantage of the pandemic and lost a few pounds.

Jason Wendlandt from Buffalo, Missouri lost 65 pounds.

Jason Wendlandt and his wife lost nearly 100 pounds since November.
Jason Wendlandt and his wife lost nearly 100 pounds since November.(Jason Wendlandt)

Wendlandt said right before Thanksgiving he and his wife knew they had to make a change. They started seeing a weight loss coach and have lost nearly 100 pounds combined.

He’s a registered nurse at CoxHealth and the study shows that nearly half of essential workers gained 38 pounds. While it was a tough year, with both Wandlandt and his wife both getting the virus he said after taking his health in control he feels better than ever.

He said there were struggles along the way because of the pandemic. His gym wasn’t closed but they had to coordinate times to workout when they weren’t many people around.

“You could still go in and find a time frame when no one else was there and you could be by yourself,” said Wendlandt. “That is what we found we went and worked out as a family up there quite a bit. We walked. My son and I went and lifted weights.”

Wendlandt said being a nurse itself is hard work but with a global pandemic it has been a challenging job. He said the long hours on his feet were taking a toll on his body and he knew he had to make a change. He said since losing weight he’s able to feel good through throughout his shift without worrying about aches and pains from his weight weighing him down.

“I had to go by new scrubs,” said Wendlandt. “I bought scrubs when I was still heavy. Now I have to go back and buy new scrubs because the scrubs I have now are falling off of me. That’s a good problem to have. It’s costly but if I have to spend money for that I’m okay because I’m going down sizes not up sizes.”

You can see all of the data from the American Psychological Association Stress in America Pandemic survey here.

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