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Stay-at-Home Orders Challenging Obese Patients

Survey respondents report difficulty in achieving weight loss goals, deteriorating mental health

FRIDAY, June 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Obese patients are reporting physical and mental health challenges during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, according to a study published online June 9 in Clinical Obesity.

Jaime P. Almandoz, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues surveyed patients with obesity seen previously at an obesity medicine clinic and a bariatric surgery practice. The survey, conducted between April 15, 2020, and May 31, 2020, assessed COVID-19 status and health behaviors during stay-at-home orders among 123 patients.

The researchers report that two patients tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and 14.6 percent reported symptoms. Just under three-quarters of respondents (72.8 percent) reported increased anxiety, and 83.6 percent reported increased depression since stay-at-home orders were initiated. More than two-thirds (69.6 percent) reported more difficultly in achieving weight loss goals, less exercise time (47.9 percent), lower exercise intensity (55.8 percent), increased stockpiling of food (49.6 percent), and more stress eating (61.2 percent). Compared with non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics were less likely to report anxiety (adjusted odds ratio, 0.16).

“In a relatively short period of time, our results show that there have been substantial perceptions in changes in health behaviors among patients with obesity,” the authors write.

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