An Apple a Day: Why You Should Take Care of Your Body

With Widespread Weight Gain on the Rise, UP Students Discuss How They Stay Fit

The+recommended+serving+size+of+fruit+is+one+to+two+cups+per+plate.+One+big+piece+of+fruit%2C+like+an+apple%2C+is+roughly+a+cup.+With+weight+gain+during+quarantine+being+a+problem+many+struggle+with%2C+it+is+important+to+eat+healthy.

Janelle White

The recommended serving size of fruit is one to two cups per plate. One big piece of fruit, like an apple, is roughly a cup. With weight gain during quarantine being a problem many struggle with, it is important to eat healthy.

Designed to keep people safe and healthy, quarantine can have hidden health risks. It is very easy to just binge away and neglect your health since everyone is at home more than usual. In a survey of over 1,000 WebMD perusers released back in May of 2020, almost 50% of the ladies and very nearly one-fourth of the men said they had put on weight “because of COVID limitations.” 

However, a study published by the International Journal of Eating Disorders shows that perceived weight gain “might just be in your head.”  Florida State University researchers found that 10% of the college students in the study reported gaining weight from January to April 2020, even though only 2% had changed their body mass in a way that would change their weight category. Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology Pamela Keel who gathered the information stated, “Some people lost weight, a very few gained, but the vast majority stayed the same.” 

Sophomore Hassan Saleh stated, “I haven’t gained or lost weight, I’ve been sitting at the same number for a while.” This may be attributed to the fact that quarantine allows him time to work out. He also runs a mile every day but he does not lift as much as he used to. 

For some, quarantine has even been an opportunity to get in shape. Senior Jonathan (Jonny) Medina said, “I have gained muscle weight since the beginning of COVID, I [often] used my home gym and diet to put all of that weight on.” 

That is not to say that non-muscle weight gain across the board is not happening at all. An article published by Newsday states, “There has been limited research on what doctors anecdotally agree is widespread weight gain.”

Perhaps the most important part of avoiding the unhealthy pitfalls of quarantine is eating healthy meals. The most basic food is probably the healthiest. Examples include fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and some types of meats (red meat is recommended to be avoided.) A good portion of food on a plate is at least 2-3 cups of vegetables, 5-8 ounces of grains, 1-2 cups of fruit and there should be 5-6 ounces of protein included.  

According to research, eating healthy also fights diseases; even coronavirus. By boosting your immune system it keeps your body strong to fight off these types of things. However, if you are eating fast food and processed foods your body is more likely to have a dramatic reaction to diseases which is a big problem. The CDC also says, “Fast food has been associated with increased intake of calories, fat, and sodium.” 

Saleh stated, “I haven’t been eating particularly good or bad. My diet was a lot better at the start of quarantine.” He then went on to say that he eats out maybe twice a week.

Medina eats about 3-5 times a day, 6 days a week. He does not really track what he eats exactly; he varies from any meats to any veggies. “I just try to add calories in before a big workout because I lift heavy,” said Medina.

Food is not the only thing contributing to the quarantine weight gain; it is also because people are not active. It is important to get up sometimes and do something physical. It does not have to be anything crazy like a big workout; it could be a simple walk or riding a bike or maybe even playing a favorite sport. Something simple like doing pushups, situps, and squats when bored ensures that the weight does not get out of control and that any weight is gained is healthy weight.