‘Pandemic body’ and ‘pandemic mind’ are real

According to the latest Stress in America poll, 42% of adults gained more weight than they wanted to in the past year, and 18% lost more.

‘Pandemic body’ and ‘pandemic mind’ are real
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“Pandemic bod” is a thing. This week the American Psychological Association released its latest Stress in America findings (pretty charts of stressed AF stick figures here), an ongoing snapshot of the minds and bodies of Americans. It’s not good. Let’s just say that if your body, sleep, and anxiety circumstances are a hot mess, you’re right on par. Here are the highlights:


“Pandemic body” grips the nation

  • 42% of adults have gained more weight than wanted in the last year, averaging 29 pounds (the median weight gain was 15 pounds)
    • of those, 10% have gained more than 50 pounds
  • 18% have lost more weight than wanted (median weight loss was 12 pounds)

Americans drink like fish and don’t sleep enough

  • Two-thirds of adults say they’re sleeping too much or too little
  • 1 in 4 are drinking more alcohol to cope

Parents are really struggling

  • 80% of dad bods have fresh weight problems, and 66% of mothers’
  • 39% of mothers say their mental health has worsened over the past year, and 25% of fathers
    • 47% of mothers with children remote learning say their mental health has worsened
  • 87% of fathers and 77% of mothers report sleeping problems
  • 48% of fathers report drinking more to cope, and 29% of mothers
  • 32% have received treatment from a mental health professional—nearly 3 times the rate of non-parents

The struggle is a little too real for essential workers and some people of color. Seventy-five percent of essential workers say that they could use more emotional support, and they’re three times more likely to have pursued mental health treatment than the average adult. People of color reported more sleep and weight problems, and Black Americans expressed the most concern and discomfort about the future.

“This survey reveals a secondary crisis that is likely to have persistent, serious mental and physical health consequences for years to come,” says Arthur C. Evans Jr., CEO of the American Psychological Association. “Health and policy leaders must come together quickly to provide additional behavioral health supports as part of any national recovery plan.”