March 22, 2021 – Good thing stretchy pants aren’t visible on Zoom. For many Americans, buttoning one’s jeans has gotten increasingly harder during the pandemic, and researchers have now estimated just how many pounds people under shelter-in-place orders tended to gain. The research letter, published Monday in JAMA Network Open, opens by explaining 45 US states put such orders in place from March 19, 2020 to April 6, 2020. To get a sense of the impact of that period, researchers used data from a heart study in which 269 participants weighed themselves using Bluetooth-connected smart scales between Feb. 1 and June 1 of that year. They found that during the shelter-in-place period, people gained an average 0.6 pounds every 10 days, “irrespective of geographic location or comorbidities.”



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