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Canadians are largely adhering to physical distancing requirements to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but the measures are accompanied by significant anxiety, along with increased consumption of alcohol and junk food, according to a new study from Statistics Canada.

StatsCan reported that the pandemic, which has seen many Canadian workers lose their jobs or their primary sources of income, “is creating anxiety and worry,” particularly among women and younger Canadians.

According to the results of an online survey conducted between May 4 and 10, most Canadians (approximately 9 in 10) are following physical distancing guidelines, particularly when out in public; 95% report that they are washing their hands more frequently; and most are not having social interactions outside of their households.

However, the survey also found that almost 20% of respondents report having moderate or severe anxiety.

Women reported higher incidences of anxiety (21%) than men (15%). Those aged 15 to 24 were more affected (27%), followed by middle-aged adults (19%) and seniors (10%), StatsCan found.

Alongside these results, StatsCan said its research also showed that 19% of respondents reported their consumption of alcohol has increased during the pandemic, up from about 14% a month earlier.

It also said that 35% have increased their consumption of junk food, up from 27% a month ago.

These trends were true across all demographic groups, it said.