Lockdown stress is blamed as women pile on the pounds – and oestrogen levels soar
- The survey shows that people struggled to exercise during lockdown
- For women who are 5ft 3in, the results show that they may have gained over half a stone since the first lockdown – going from just under 11st to 11st 7lb.
Women have gained weight since the start of the pandemic – and their oestrogen levels have soared, a survey suggests.
The findings chime with previous studies that show people struggled to exercise and eat a healthy diet during lockdown.
In January last year, the average body mass index of 80,000 female customers of the blood-testing firm Thriva was 27.1. BMI shows whether someone is a healthy size, based on their height and weight.
The findings show people struggled to exercise and eat a healthy diet during lockdown
But in recent months, the average among 163,000 who gave details was 28.4. For women who are 5ft 3in, that corresponds to adding over half a stone – going from just under 11st to 11st 7lb.
Meanwhile, average oestrogen levels rose by roughly 50 per cent. Dr Sumera Shahaney, head of clinical operations at Thriva, said oestrogen can increase when women gain weight.
Very high oestrogen levels are linked to a greater risk of blood clots and stroke, but the average increased amount was still within the bounds of what is considered normal. Varying oestrogen levels, however, can affect mood.
Dr Shahaney said: ‘What we’re seeing from customers is that over the last 12 months there has been a marked increase in stress and fatigue. We are also seeing a decrease in physical activity.’