Over One Third of Hongkongers Gained Weight Under Pandemic: Survey

The Hong Kong Obesity Society (HKOS) recently released a weight survey report on Hong Kong people after the fifth wave of the pandemic.

The report shows that 36 percent of Hong Kong people on average gained 10 percent in weight under the pandemic. It concluded that the result relates to the mode of working from home and reduced exercise. Experts suggest patients seek assistance from medical teams to treat obesity by changing living habits.

HKOS conducted the survey from May 27 to June 6, 2022, by interviewing 559 Hong Kong citizens aged 18 or above, and found that 36 percent of the respondents on average gained 10 percent in weight under the pandemic. Of the respondents, 37 percent said they had reduced their exercise time due to the pandemic; 90 percent said they reduced time for going out, 80 percent reported that they exercised less because of the mask mandate at public exercises areas and because of the closure of sports venues.

Over 20 percent of respondents said they consumed more snacks and ordered takeout food more frequently to kill the pressure and fatigue caused by the pandemic’s restrictions. The survey also found that more than 70 percent of the respondents had tried to lose weight, but on average every five that lost weight, four would rebound.

HKOS believes that the pressure and changes in living habits under pandemic restrictions, such as ordering takeouts, sitting and not exercising all day long will greatly increase the chances of gaining weight.

Some studies found that the “survival mechanism” hinders loss of weight: The body needs to survive by changing hormones, increasing appetite, and slowing down the metabolism to avoid the impacts caused by calorie reduction.

While being on shift and staying up late will also reduce hormone “leptin” and increase “ghrelin (hunger hormones)” which will tend to increase appetite.

HKOS suggests focusing on nutrition, exercise, and changing living habits to reduce weight. Obesity patients should seek assistance from medical teams for weight control.

Epoch Times Hong Kong Staff

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