Unhealthy weight gains, increased drinking reported by Americans coping with pandemic stress

As growing vaccine demand signals a potential turning point in the global COVID-19 pandemic, the nation’s health crisis is far from over. One year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, many adults report undesired changes to their weight, increased drinking and other negative behavior changes that may be related to an inability to cope with prolonged stress, according to the American Psychological Association’s latest Stress in America™ poll. APA’s survey of U.S. adults, conducted in late February 2021 by The Harris Poll, shows that a majority of adults (61%) experienced undesired weight changes – weight gain or loss — since the pandemic started, with 42% reporting they gained more weight than they intended. Of those, they gained an average of 29 pounds (the median amount gained was 15 pounds) and 10% said they gained more than 50 pounds, the poll found. Such changes come with significant health risks, including higher vulnerability to serious…