HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- By now, chances are you've heard of the "COVID 10" or "Quarantine 15." Maybe you've gained the pounds.
To help their neighbors get healthy, a group of professionals from Huntington wants to put the whole town on a diet.
For a group of ladies of Long Island, walking in picturesque Hecksher Park offers respite from the coronavirus pandemic.
"No matter what's going on we have this," said Kerry St. George, of Northport, New York.
"I came out here to take care of my head," said Tina Sundberg, of Centerport, New York.
"I've been putting on the pounds," St. George told CBS2's Vanessa Murdock.
She's not alone.
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Huntington Town Clerk Andrew Raia says he's gained the COVID 10.
"If we go any longer, I'm going to be in that 15," he said.
Raia blames the stress of the situation; he signs the death certificates.
Wednesday, Raia joined Dr. William Spencer, a practicing physician and Suffolk County legislator, Dr. David Buchin, head of Bariatric Surgery at Huntington Hospital, and trainer Phil Sottile, founder of Intelligent Fitness, to announce a voluntary diet for the Town of Huntington.
"Obesity is a major issue in our country and one of the reasons why our country has such a problem with COVID-19," Buchin said.
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211
According to a study by Northwell Health, of all patients hospitalized because of COVID-19, 42% are obese.
"COVID-19 has a much greater impact on people with co-morbid conditions, things such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma. All of these things are associated with obesity," Spencer said.
Spencer says it's time to take stock of what's in the fridge, exercise, get ample sleep and hydrate.
To help Huntington residents get on track, a free program is now accessible through the LI Obesity Surgery Facebook page. You'll find a healthy lifestyle program, live discussions, free exercise and yoga classes from Intelligent Fitness.
"We crashed an entire economy because of the importance of health and wellness. Let's not let this moment pass us by," Sottile said.
Look at staying home as an opportunity to reshape your lifestyle and your body, too.
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