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Half of Brits have gained weight during lockdown and 14% haven’t left their house in a week

Half of Britons admit they have piled on the pounds during lockdown – putting them more at risk of coronavirus.

A study by King’s College London also found one in seven adults have not left their homes to exercise in a week, fuelling concerns about an obesity crisis.

The worrying finding comes after NHS data revealed severely overweight people are more likely to die from COVID-19.

The King’s College survey of more than 2,250 people also revealed that a third of the country has halted their NHS treatment due to fears about catching the virus in hospital or being a burden on the health service. 

Meanwhile, a separate study by University College London discovered only half of adults were now ‘strictly’ sticking to Government’s guidelines.

The finding suggests public compliance with the restrictions waned after revelations top No 10 aide Dominic Cummings made a 260-mile trip to visit his parents at the peak of the crisis. 

It came as Boris Johnson declared that up to six people can now meet outdoors after the Government’s five coronavirus tests for loosening lockdown were met. 

Half of Britons admit they have piled on the pounds during lockdown, while almost three in ten are drinking more alcohol than normal

Half of Britons admit they have piled on the pounds during lockdown, while almost three in ten are drinking more alcohol than normal

Half of Britons admit they have piled on the pounds during lockdown, while almost three in ten are drinking more alcohol than normal

14 per cent of adults have not left their homes to exercise in a week, fuelling concerns about an obesity crisis

14 per cent of adults have not left their homes to exercise in a week, fuelling concerns about an obesity crisis

14 per cent of adults have not left their homes to exercise in a week, fuelling concerns about an obesity crisis

King College’s finding that half of Britons have put on weight comes after obesity was highlighted as one of COVID-19’s biggest risk factors.

Analysis of 17,000 NHS admissions found that death rates were almost 40 per cent higher in patients with a BMI over 30.

Those who are overweight and unfit have lower lung capacity than healthy people, which makes it hard to get oxygen and blood around the body.

When COVID-19 strikes it makes it more difficult to breath and blocks the flow of oxygen even more, which eventually overwhelms the bodies of obese people.

WHY DOES OBESITY RAISE THE RISK OF DYING FROM COVID? 

Analysis of 17,000 NHS admissions found that death rates were 37 per cent higher in patients with a BMI over 30.

Those who are overweight and unfit have lower lung capacity than healthy people, which makes it hard to get oxygen and blood around the body.

When COVID-19 strikes it makes it more difficult to breath and blocks the flow of oxygen even more, which eventually overwhelms the bodies of obese people.

This is the reason why overweight and obese people in intensive care are more likely to need assistance with breathing and support with kidney function, experts say.

Doctors say the immune systems of fat people are constantly ramped up as they try to protect and repair the damage inflammation causes to cells. 

Using all its energy fending off inflammation means the body’s defence system has few resources left to defend against a new infection like COVID-19. 

Obese people also tend to eat a diet with very little fiber and antioxidants – which keep the immune system healthy – such as fruit and vegetables.  

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This is the reason why overweight and obese people in intensive care are more likely to need assistance with breathing and support with kidney function, experts say.

The study also found 41 per cent of adults did not leave their home on five of the previous seven days leading up to this latest survey and 46 per cent of parents say the same applied to their children.

Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, told MailOnline: ‘The fact that so many people admit to putting on weight should surprise no one. This will be substantially more obesity due to comfort eating and snacking than the regrettable lack of exercise. 

‘When COVID-19 is over and the true effect on Britain’s waistlines is reported expect draconian health measures. Boris Johnson has vowed to launch a war on fat through fear of a second wave but he won’t win it if the measures required are not immediately implemented.’ 

KCL researchers quizzed more than 2,250 people in England, Wales and Scotland between May 20 and May 22.

The study found a third of people have consumed more alcohol than they normally would, up from 19 per cent in early April.

Four in 10 said they felt more lonely than usual, while 35 per cent have postponed seeking medical advice or treatment unrelated to Covid-19.

The researchers also identified two significant changes since the beginning of April, when the previous survey was conducted.

Fourteen per cent of Britons have now had friends or family visit them at home, triple the 5 per cent in April.

And almost four in 10 people have now been wearing face masks, double the 19 per cent who had worn them six weeks ago.

Fourteen per cent of Britons have now had friends or family visit them at home, triple the 5 per cent in April

Fourteen per cent of Britons have now had friends or family visit them at home, triple the 5 per cent in April

Fourteen per cent of Britons have now had friends or family visit them at home, triple the 5 per cent in April

Nearly one in 20 Britons still believe up to half a million people could be killed by Covid in the UK

Nearly one in 20 Britons still believe up to half a million people could be killed by Covid in the UK

Nearly one in 20 Britons still believe up to half a million people could be killed by Covid in the UK

Three in 10 Britons' wallets have been hit as a result of the crisis, while a fifth have saved money

Three in 10 Britons' wallets have been hit as a result of the crisis, while a fifth have saved money

Three in 10 Britons’ wallets have been hit as a result of the crisis, while a fifth have saved money 

WHAT DID THE KCL STUDY FIND? 

  • 41 per cent of adults say they did not leave their home on five or more of the previous seven days.
  • 46 per cent of parents say the same applies to their children. 
  • 1 in 7 adults (14%) did not leave their home once in the previous week, and 23 per cent of parents say their children did not leave home once either.       
  • Half (48 per cent) have reported putting on weight.
  • 29 per cent say they have drunk more alcohol than they normally would.
  • 43 per cent have felt more lonely than usual.
  • A third have postponed seeking medical advice or treatment unrelated to Covid-19. 
  • 13 per cent now say they are certain or very likely to face significant financial difficulties because of the coronavirus.
  • A fifth have had more money left at the end of the month.  

Meanwhile, UCL scientists discovered strict adherence to Government Covid-19 lockdown guidelines and overall confidence in government are at all-time lows.

Their study of over 90,000 adults is the UK’s largest of its kind. It found ‘complete’ compliance Government rule – such as social distancing and staying at home – had plummeted from 70 pre cent to just over 50 per cent in two weeks. 

Compliance levels among younger adults was even lower, with only 40 pre cent reporting ‘completely’ complying with lockdown rules.

Respondents were also asked how much confidence they had in the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 epidemic from one (not at all) to seven (lots). 

The study found that had dropped from 4 to 3.5. Confidence is falling most notably among those under 30, those in urban areas and those with a mental health diagnosis. Confidence in Government is lower in England than in Scotland and Wales. 

Lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt, an epidemiologist at UCL, said: ‘Compliance with Government advice continues to fall, but still remains relatively high amongst most groups. 

‘Confidence in Government also continues to fall in England since the easing of lockdown was announced, dropping most noticeably over the bank holiday weekend.’ 

Cheryl Lloyd, education programme head at the think-tank Nuffield Foundation, said: ‘With compliance levels falling, it is increasingly important to know which specific lockdown measures adults are breaking, and to consider what this can tell us about how public health messages can be communicated more effectively.’ 

Commenting on the findings, John Drury, professor of social psychology at the University of Sussex, said: ‘The authors’ finding that adherence to the public health measures remains relatively high is good to see.

‘But the decline in adherence, which the authors link to reduced confidence in the government, is worrying.

‘As our own research shows, the key to emergency communication is good relations between the authority and the public. When the relationship is damaged, communication fails.

‘I agree with those calling for the NHS and public health authorities to take leadership instead of this government.’

Boris Johnson declared  last night  that up to six people can now meet outdoors after the the Government’s five coronavirus tests for loosening lockdown were met.

The PM revealed that the draconian restrictions are being eased slightly from next week, after the ferocity of the outbreak subsided.

He is formally reducing the country’s Covid ‘alert’ status from four to three after taking advice from SAGE experts this afternoon.

But the changes, which take effect on Monday, are being largely limited to outdoor activity, where the risks of spread are far lower.

Up to six people from different households will be allowed to mix, opening the prospect of reunions for family and friends – although they will still be told to obey social distancing rules. They will also be permitted to use gardens and private outdoor spaces, which was previously banned.

Non-essential shops and primary schools will start to reopen from next month, as had been suggested earlier in the week.

Source: Daily Mail – Articles

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