COVID-19 lockdowns caused average of four kilogram weight gain: Survey

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People under coronavirus lockdown reported gaining weight in significant numbers, with the average weight gain hitting almost four kilograms in the UK, a survey conducted by Public Health England (PHE) found.

Governments across the world have been instituting strict lockdown procedures around the world since the onset of the pandemic last year. The PHE study, which surveyed 5,000 people, found that more than 40 percent of the respondents said that they had gained weight since the first UK lockdown in March last year.

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Of those who said they had gained weight, 21 percent reported that they had gained around six kilograms or more. In people between the ages of 35 and 65 years old, the average weight gain appeared to be around 4.6 kg.

A selection of vegetables such as spinach, carrots and broccoli. (Unsplash, Dan Gold)
A selection of vegetables such as spinach, carrots and broccoli. (Unsplash, Dan Gold)

In addition, almost half of the survey’s respondents admitted to wanting to adopt a healthier diet, while 57 percent said they were open to receiving additional advice on eating healthier, along with recommended exercise routines and ideas on how to achieve such a diet on a budget.

PHE launched its latest Better Health campaign on Monday, offering free evidence-based guidance and support to people who are planning to adopt healthier lifestyle choices. The initiative will steer people towards a variety of apps endorsed by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).

“The past 16 months have caused many to change their habits so it is not a surprise to see so many people reporting weight gain,” the BBC quotes PHE chief nutritionist Dr. Alison Tedstone as saying.

“We know how hard it can be to lose weight and keep it off - so, we are providing a range of support options to help motivate people and help them maintain a healthy weight,” she added.

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