Lockdown: American town puts all its residents on a diet to combat obesity

Health officials are putting an entire Long Island town on a diet to drive down rising obesity rates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With many stuck in their homes - ordering take-out and stress eating - a weight gain phenomenon has emerged nicknamed the 'Quarantine 15.'

Now, doctors and fitness instructors in Huntington, which has about 200,000 residents, are introducing a voluntary healthy lifestyle and exercise program.

They say that obesity and obesity-related conditions are very serious risk factors in Covid-19 cases and that reducing the number of overweight residents will also reduce the number of coronavirus patients.

'We're bringing attention to this issue because the quality of our health is more important than ever,' Dr William Spencer, chairman of the Suffolk County Legislature Committee on Health, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

'As we slowly work our way out of this crisis, it is important for us to make healthy choices...so we need to take charge of the situation.'

Currently, 42.4 percent of the US adult population is obese as are 18.5 percent of American children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Obesity is a known risk factor for several chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart attack and even certain types of cancer.

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