COVID-19 restrictions supported participants in weight loss program, but had negative impact on mood and behaviors

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New research presented at this year’s European Obesity Congress (ECO2021, online, May 10-13) concludes that the first blockade of the COVID-19 pandemic is an important driver in motivating people to lose weight Participants in an online weight management program launched Some participants have linked lockdown to weight gain by blocking social opportunities and access to facilities, explain the authors, who include Meigan Thomson of the University of Glasgow, UK and colleagues.

“Adult weight loss programs have been shown to improve health and weight results in adults with obesity,” the authors explain. “The restrictions and changes imposed on the public as a result of COVID-19 created a new experience and environment for weight loss. The aim of this study was to assess the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on participation and the Evaluate weight loss. “”

Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 48 participants. The participants were predominantly female (83%) with a mean age of 49 years and a mean BMI of 31.6 kg / m2, which fell into the obese range. Participants were recruited from a 12-week online weight loss program called “Second Nature” (see details in the link below). The program has an ongoing recruiting strategy and new groups start every week. Participants who started the program between late October and January were sent an email from the program explaining the study with the contact details of the study authors, which they could email if they liked participated.

The interviews were conducted in the middle of the program in November and December 2020. In the interviews, participants were asked about their barriers and reliefs to their weight loss and the role COVID-19 had played in their experience. In particular, participants were asked about obesity as a risk factor for worse COVID-19 results and the impact of the pandemic on their social life, environment and weight.

The interviews indicated that COVID-19 played a role in participants’ weight loss journeys before and during the program. COVID-19 played a role in weight gain, motivation, self-efficacy, and unhealthy temptations. Just under half (44%) of participants attributed the “lockdown” restrictions to weight gain earlier in the year, and 50% said the initial lockdown function had motivated them to lose weight.

The perceived risk of living with obesity or being overweight for poor outcomes when infected with coronavirus was a motivator for change. 54% of the respondents. Three quarters (75%) of participants said COVID-19 restrictions aid their weight loss. However, a similar proportion (69%) said the restrictions hindered their weight loss. Just under half (46%) said the pandemic both supported and hindered their weight loss efforts. As a result, there were many participants who could see both positive and negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their efforts.

Participants identified changes in home, work, and social settings either as mediators or as obstacles to the lifestyle changes they wanted to make. In particular, participants said they had more ownership of their surroundings by being more at home (and not being able to keep tempting unhealthy foods around, for example), but said they had less social support to help them lose weight.

The authors say, “COVID-19 and the restrictions it imposed had an impact on participants’ weight loss journeys while participating in an online weight loss program, affecting their efforts to eat healthily and be physically active as well. The Impact the limitations and knowledge of the virus itself served to encourage motivation and behavior change. “

They conclude, “The results provide new insights into participants’ experiences with a pandemic weight loss program. These insights may provide suggestions for improving online programs that are accessible to those who are unable are or do not prefer. ” participate in personal programs. ”

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Provided by the European Association for the Study of Obesity

Quote: COVID-19 restrictions aided weight loss program participants but had a negative impact on mood and behavior (2021 May 11), accessed May 12, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-covid- restrictions-weight -loss-negative.html

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