‘A significant cause for concern’ – Men are doing better than women when it comes to shedding the dreaded Covid stone

Women in Ireland are struggling to shed the so-called ‘Covid Stone’ won during lockdown and restrictions, while men are more successful at shedding pounds, according to a new Department of Health survey.

A third of women were found to have gained weight during the pandemic and more than a quarter of men.

Year-over-year, however, weight gain in women remains at about 33 percent, but it has fallen to 21 percent in men.

Findings come from the Healthy Ireland 2022 survey, which tracks lifestyle, mental health and other trends annually.

Self-reported responses in the Ipsos survey included 7,192 who were contacted by phone, which other international studies found could see people underestimating their weight by about 10 percent.

Results from this wave of surveys show that 41 percent of the population reported a normal weight, 35 percent said they were overweight, 21 percent said they were obese, and 2 percent said they were underweight.

“These numbers differ only slightly from the actual measurements from the 2019 survey, when 37 percent were of normal weight, 37 percent were overweight, and 23 percent were obese.”

Exercise remains the most common way to lose weight, with 71 percent of respondents attempting to exercise more or do more physical work.

Dietary changes are also reported, with 53 percent saying they are eating fewer calories and 46 percent eating and drinking less sugary drinks.

In general, the survey found that the effects of the pandemic were being felt generally across the population, although many of the problems were identified as being particularly evident among women and younger people.

Of those who drank more, smoked more, or gained weight, less than half said they wanted to improve their health behaviors.

“This was a significant concern that changes in health behaviors that occurred during a time of greater disruption in people’s lives might persist and lead to worsening health outcomes.”

Overall, in the 2022 survey, 34 percent say they have either been drinking more, smoking more or gaining weight since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This compares to 36 per cent who reported any of these changes in the Healthy Ireland 2021 survey.

It found that 18 percent of the population are smokers, 14 percent smoke daily and 4 percent smoke occasionally. 25-34 year olds are the age group most likely to smoke.

While smoking numbers have declined significantly over the years, the decline appears to have stalled.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Breda Smyth expressed concern about the setback in numbers quitting smoking.

She also said she was concerned about the results of a self-selected group of 4,300 people who responded to an online module of the survey.

It turned out that one in ten people under the age of 35 had attempted suicide.

The Ministry of Health stressed that this was not representative across the country and people who had resonated with suicide may have been more likely to respond.

dr Smyth said: “We know that our population, as well as the international population, has been significantly traumatized by the pandemic and this has had a significant impact on mental health and has led to increased suicides in some areas.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/a-significant-cause-for-concern-men-fare-better-than-women-in-shedding-dreaded-covid-stone-42197595.html ‘A significant cause for concern’ – Men are doing better than women when it comes to shedding the dreaded Covid stone

Fry Electronics Team

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