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How much weight have people put on since Lock Down

Written by Ben Camara on 13th November 2020.


“Most of us struggled with weight gain in lockdown”, says study


Two in three adults struggled with weight gain in lockdown, says new research, with increased snacking, reduced exercise, and increased levels of stress and anxiety to blame. 


A report from the Covid Symptom Study app found that almost a third (29%) of almost 450,000 people who contributed to the app said they had gained weight since March 2020. 


The numbers weren’t massive with the average increase in body weight found to be 0.78kg (1.6lbs), but it does go to show the normalities of having routine can aid us in having a control on calories in and calories out.


To further look at some statistics, an online survey of 800 adults in the UK in May 2020, 637 from the general public and 222 members of Slimming World, found that the majority – 65% of the general public, 59% of Slimming World members said they had found managing their weight ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ difficult since lockdown came into place. 


With the fitness and wellbeing space completely turned on its head since march with hybrid gym memberships (both digital and in premises) now being offered, home fitness equipment being sought after we are all finding our feet with how we can continue to stay active in a fun and enjoyable way. 

We’ve also seen an increase in ‘micro fitness sessions’ when we look at the Remote Coach platform data with the average time for sessions now being 28 mins, meaning people are comfortable, working up a sweat and are engaged in less time than the usual 2 hour walk around gyms and leisure centres of old.


Finding our feet in the new health & fitness realm is certainly something we are all adapting with, and it seems to be the same when coming to snacking and our eating habits.


Website Lose It! reported a 266% increase in candy eating in the last 2 weeks of March, compared to February, among its 1.4 million monthly active members, along with an increase in eating carb-heavy foods like bread (54%) and noodles (36%). Data provided by WW (formerly Weight Watchers) shows their members are using the app to record they’re using and consuming almost 40% more baking ingredients like flour than they did before the lockdown.

Among WebMD readers, 70% in the U.S. and 35% internationally cited “stress eating” as a cause of their weight gain, 21% in the U.S. and 17% internationally blamed their weight gain on alcohol and more than 70% in the U.S. and internationally reported lack of exercise as a reason for their weight gain.


Experts are warning that people are on a slippery slope which could lead to many experiencing significant weight gain once lockdown, as we know it now, is eventually lifted.

Jane DeVille-Almond, chair of The British Obesity Society said:

“Recent evidence has highlighted the added risk of complications from Covid-19 for those carrying excess weight but still people are piling on the pounds during lockdown. It’s not surprising, many of us turn to food and drink when we are anxious, stressed or simply bored.

“However, in many ways there has never been a better time to think about changing our lifestyle, we have had the time to eat better, plan our meals better and exercise more.

“There is no magic pill for gaining a healthier weight, but it does take effort and commitment.

“If you are concerned about your weight don’t wait for lockdown to finish before you start making changes as that’s simply another excuse for never getting started.”