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Two-thirds of Britons have piled on the pounds during lockdown

Two in three Britons admit they have piled on the pounds during the two-month coronavirus lockdown.

A third of the population has gained half a stone or more in the eight weeks since all but essential travel was banned and exercise was limited.

According to the survey of 1,000 Britons, one in 20 said they had put on so much weight they were too ‘scared’ to stand on the scales. 

The worrying finding comes after NHS data revealed obese people are more likely to die from COVID-19.

Analysis of 17,000 NHS admissions found that death rates were almost 40 per cent higher in patients with a BMI over 30.

Those who are overweight and unfit have lower lung capacity than healthy people, which makes it hard to get oxygen and blood around the body.

When COVID-19 strikes it makes it more difficult to breath and blocks the flow of oxygen even more, which eventually overwhelms the bodies of obese people.

This is the reason why overweight and obese people in intensive care are more likely to need assistance with breathing and support with kidney function, experts say.

Two in three Britons admit they have piled on the pounds during the two-month coronavirus lockdown (file)

Two in three Britons admit they have piled on the pounds during the two-month coronavirus lockdown (file)

Two in three Britons admit they have piled on the pounds during the two-month coronavirus lockdown (file)

The latest survey, commissioned by Slimfast, revealed it was young people and women who were mostly gaining weight, The Times reports.

Two third of those who had piled on pounds were aged between 18 and 24. Less than half were over the age of 65. 

More than 60 per cent of females said they were fatter now than before lockdown and one in ten said they were at least a stone heavier. Around 57 per cent of men said they were heavier than two months ago.  

WHY DOES OBESITY RAISE THE RISK OF DYING FROM COVID? 

Analysis of 17,000 NHS admissions found that death rates were 37 per cent higher in patients with a BMI over 30.

Those who are overweight and unfit have lower lung capacity than healthy people, which makes it hard to get oxygen and blood around the body.

When COVID-19 strikes it makes it more difficult to breath and blocks the flow of oxygen even more, which eventually overwhelms the bodies of obese people.

This is the reason why overweight and obese people in intensive care are more likely to need assistance with breathing and support with kidney function, experts say.

Doctors say the immune systems of fat people are constantly ramped up as they try to protect and repair the damage inflammation causes to cells. 

Using all its energy fending off inflammation means the body’s defence system has few resources left to defend against a new infection like COVID-19. 

Obese people also tend to eat a diet with very little fiber and antioxidants – which keep the immune system healthy – such as fruit and vegetables.  

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One in three respondents said they had gained weight because of comfort eating, while a quarter blamed a lack of exercise.  

An eighth said they piled on the pounds because there was more food around the home, while one in 50 said they gained weight because it did not matter as no one else would see them.  

It comes after analysis of NHS hospitals last month revealed obesity raises the risk of dying from coronavirus by nearly 40 per cent. 

The research, based on 17,000 COVID-19 admissions, revealed that overall a third of Britons hospitalised with the life-threatening virus die. 

Death rates were 37 per cent higher among obese patients, second only to dementia (39 per cent) but more than heart disease (31 per cent).

Heart disease was also found to be the most common underlying health condition in coronavirus patients hospitalised with the infection.

The study, considered to be the largest of its kind in Europe, revealed more than half (53 per cent) of patients had at least one comorbidity.

Almost a third (29 per cent) had heart disease – conditions which block blood vessels and make it hard to pump blood and oxygen around the body.

Nearly a fifth (19 per cent) were diabetic, the same number had lung disease, 15 per cent suffered from kidney disease and 14 per cent were asthmatic.

Curiously, fewer than 10 per cent of hospital admissions were smokers – more than a third less than the national rate of 14.4 per cent.

It is the latest in a growing line of studies to suggest that cigarette users may have a lower risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.

Researchers are struggling to knock down an apparent protective effect given by cigarettes, which they’ve described as ‘weird’. 

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Written by cerebralstudio626

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