JollyGut Blog

Grocery shopping online - another way to get obese or fight the pandemic?

Keeping an active, healthy and balanced lifestyle in the upcoming weeks might become tricky. Why is it so? This might be expected due to the UK’s new national lockdown that will painfully affect bars, restaurants, non-essential shops, hairdressers, gyms and other non-essential leisure time activities. The devastating number of COVID-19 cases across the UK have once again forced us to settle on a couch and focus on precise planning before opening the home door.

While there is no doubt that such a decision is the best COVID-19 antispread strategy but does it really reduce the risk of dying from this highly infectious virus? Ask yourself, what happens when you stay at home for a few days or even weeks. Your physical activity curve is at the lowest point. Soon you get a little lazy. You get bored. You are stressed out keeping up with the latest news. You start craving for food. Most likely it is constituted of carbs and fats. Keeping up with the newest trends and regulations you shift all your shopping online. Soon you realize that there is almost no such thing that could not be completed from your comfy couch.


So what? Although lockdown is the most effective virus anti-spread strategy, staying at home with no physical activity, unconscious online shopping, boredom and general anxiety of the pandemic can result in a few extra pounds. If that sounds completely innocent, you should know that obesity is one of the most honourable pals of the coronavirus.


Don’t want to be another statistical number? Pay attention to your diet


Almost 8% of ill patients in critical conditions due to COVID-19 have been exceptionally obese. That means obesity has a lot of business to do with the coronavirus. You might consider that a few extra pounds gained during a lockdown won’t do much damage. Well, recent studies claim that even people who are merely overweight are at higher risk to be highly affected by the deadly virus. In fact, they are 113 % more likely to end up in the hospital than patients of healthy weight.

Considering that 63 % of the British are overweight coronavirus is an enormous threat to society. Although obesity does not cause coronavirus itself, it assists the virus in leaving irreparable damage to the organism it enters. Blood of people with a higher weight is slightly different from the ones having a healthy weight - it is more likely to clot. Once the COVID-19 enter the organism, the infection covers vessels of the lungs with such clots. Your blood gets stickier than nachos with tons of cheese.


“Okay, okay enough of the threats and numbers…” you may say. You will securely stay on the couch consuming the food similar to your blood texture and wait for the life-saver - heavenly vaccine. Wait for a second, this might not help you at all. Comparing the recent researches of impact vaccines has over obese people, conclusions suggest that overweight people vaccinated against flu were more likely to get it. Keeping this in mind, recent studies suggest that coronavirus vaccines might be similarly ineffective for obese patients.

Although lockdown allows controlling the spread of coronavirus, society is not educated enough to defend themselves from the deadly disease. Such effective defend can be simply built by regular exercising and conscious eating and shopping. Governments have already played a significant part in this fight, it is time for each individual to take the next turn in the game.


JollyGut - make conscious choices shopping online


During the pandemic, precise planning can be life-saving and stress-free, especially in terms of grocery shopping. After a number of researches approved that coronavirus can stay on surfaces for up to 72 hours, there is no surprise that shopping online has skyrocketed. No one wants to catch deadly disease buying milk, right? That would be an absurd way to die. Shoppers might have kept this idea in their minds for a while because recent Waitrose survey declared that during the pandemic 77% of customers (compared to 61% last year) now tend to shop online rather than commute to stores.

However, it is very important to stay conscious about which products you place in the shopping cart if you desire to stay healthy and full during these uncertain times. The main problem is that people tend to binge eat when they desire to reduce anxiety, boredom and entertain themselves staying at home. Often, they have no knowledge about balanced nutrition and which products are actually good for them.

Keeping the current trends and issues in mind, JollyGut team has developed a browser extension. This tool allows browsing through countless supermarkets’ websites (currently accessible only for Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Morison’s) and clicking only the products that fit your dietary preferences. JollyGut browser extension reveals:

  • Nutritional value of the chosen product by indicating simple traffic light colour codes – green is the best option, yellow is the “ok” one and red is a threatening one.
  • Recommendations for healthier alternatives of a chosen product keeping in mind price and taste preferences
  • Evaluation of the whole basket nutritional value.

Milk, butter & eggs section using JollyGut browser extension at Tesco.com

This means that you are informed about each product’s nutritional value, better alternatives and the whole basket nutritional value without even entering a store!

Where to start? World Health Organisation suggest beginning with the section of fresh, unprocessed foods that contains no high amounts of sugar, fat and salt. Remember, this is not only for the sake of losing weight but for fighting deadly coronavirus disease, and for once - taking the control in your own hands.

COVID-19