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Did COVID lockdowns make us fat?

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Did COVID lockdowns make us fat?

“Our study provides a possible explanation as to how lockdowns may have induced weight gain,” said BGU researcher Assaf Rudich.

weight loss, eating disorder_311 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

weight loss, eating disorder_311

Early Newspaper

(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

Many people became more sedentary during COVID19 lockdowns. A collaboration of Israeli researchers are among the first to examine the impact quarantine and lack of exercise had on weight gain. 

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev and Soroka University Medical Center researchers simulated in mice a sharp decline in physical activity by removing a voluntary running wheel, and assessed how diet composition affects the response. 

Their findings, recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Physiological Reports, concluded that while less energy was spent by the mice, the mice still ate similar amounts of food as when the running wheel was present, which resulted in slowed metabolism. 

Additionally, diet composition determined changes in the oxidation rates of fat or carbohydrates (sugars) – the two major energy sources of the human body – in response to the decline in physical activity.

Prof. Assaf Rudich DANI MACHLIS/BGUProf. Assaf Rudich DANI MACHLIS/BGU

BGU researcher Assaf Rudich noted the discovery that there are immediate effects of exercise stoppage. 

“While the comparison to human beings forced to become more sedentary during lockdowns requires confirmation in human clinical trials, our study provides a possible explanation as to how lockdowns may have induced weight gain: While the decline in spending energy is rapid, matching the lower energetic needs with lower food consumption takes time, resulting in a positive energy balance,” he said.

Source:
Did COVID lockdowns make us fat? – study