Weight is a clinically relevant health outcome that is independently associated with all-cause
mortality. It is also a helpful proxy for physical activity, another measurement associated with
all-cause mortality. In analyzing weight trends around initial “stay in place” (SIP) orders, there
was a significant increase in weight over the post-SIP period at a rate of roughly a pound and a
half weight gain per month following SIP. Although this may not appear clinically important,
prolonged effects could lead to substantial weight gain.
It is important to recognize the unintended health consequences SIP can have on the
population. The detrimental health outcomes suggested by this data demonstrate a need to
identify concurrent strategies to mitigate weight gain, such as encouraging healthy diets and
exploring ways to enhance physical activity, as local governments consider new constraints in
response to SARS-CoV-2 and potential future pandemics.
There is no better time than now to work with your staff and educate them on healthy lifestyle
choices. Stand by the time clock at lunch time and watch what your staff are bringing in, fast
food, KFC, pizza, salad, oh wait not that! Seriously, our lifestyles have become less than
“healthy” and fast and easy has become the norm. Think about a weekly “lunch break” with
staff, providing a salad bar, pretzel rolls, frozen yogurt, etc. It would be a treat for most and
provide them with a healthier choice at least one lunch a week!
Stay well, roll your sleeves up, and stay tuned!