Free DONUT deal for Covid-vaccinated reignites debate over Americans’ massive lockdown weight gains

A ploy to encourage vaccinations by giving away donuts is weighing heavily on some Americans, already worried about unwanted weight gains during the lockdowns, even as obesity is recognized as a major risk factor for Covid-19.

The chain Krispy Kreme announced on Monday that customers who bring in a valid vaccination card – showing they received at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson one – will be given a free donut. Not just once, mind you, but every day for the rest of 2021! 

While one must show up in person to claim the deal, it’s valid in the drive-through, so it’s not even necessary to expend that much effort to claim the treat.

While this attempt to sweeten the vaccination deal sounds tasty, it comes just days after a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) pointed out a disturbing trend of weight gain during the lockdowns imposed to fight the pandemic, now ongoing for over a year.

A whopping 42% of those surveyed reported putting on unwanted pounds: 29 lbs (13 kg) on average, to be exact, with a median gain of 15 lbs (6.8 kg).The largest average weight gain was among the Millennials – the 25-42 age cohort – at 41 pounds (18.5 kg). 

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Combined with sleep deprivation and increased drinking, the weight gains painted a grim picture of stress in America in the APA report.

“This survey reveals a secondary crisis that is likely to have persistent, serious mental and physical health consequences for years to come,” said APA’s CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr. 

Obesity is also a major problem when it comes to the coronavirus, however, as it is widely considered a serious comorbidity posing a higher risk of complications for those infected. As it turns out, months of not being able to go to the gym or take walks, while eating to cope with stress, only made matters worse.

Krispy Kreme soon took flak for their “tactless” campaign, with one politician even bringing up the fact that their “Jane Dough” pun on the sample vaccination card was in poor taste.

Some 45% of the women surveyed by the APA reported undesired weight gains during the pandemic, with an average bump of 22 lbs (10 kg).

Perhaps Krispy Kreme reasoned their free donut promotion might help the 18% of American adults who reported undesired weight loss during the lockdown, down 26 lbs (almost 12 kg) on average. In any event, their advertising announcement revived interest in the APA survey, as “obesity” began trending on social networks. 

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