- US adults gained an average 0.6 lbs for every 10 days in lockdown, a study has found.
- Researchers monitored the weights of 269 people across 37 US states between April and June 2020.
- Reduced step counts and stress eating contributed to weight gain, they said.
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American adults gained an average half a pound in weight for every 10 days spent in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, a study has found.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, studied the weights of 269 people between February 1, 2020 and June 1, 2020, and found they gained an average 0.59 lbs (0.27 kg) every 10 days, according to a study published Monday on the JAMA health network, whose publications are peer reviewed.
Forty-five US states enforced lockdowns between March 19, 2020 to April 6, 2020, with the researchers collecting more than 7,000 weight measurements from Bluetooth scales used by participants across 37 states.
Respondents said their daily step counts dropped, and that they snacked and overate more, the study said. The researchers said the weight gain was “irrespective of geographic location.”
The rise in weight equated to around 1.5 lbs of new weight gained every month, the researchers said.
The study was not representative of the US population, with 75% of participants identified as white compared to 3.5% who identified as African American. The study also involved just 269 participants, and it is not clear if a larger sample set would have yielded different results.
“How the pandemic has affected people’s eating patterns is just as varied as how the pandemic has affected people’s social lives and financial situations,” she said.
Gyms and other sports facilities also shuttered in the pandemic, prompting a rise in outdoor exercise and sales of gym equipment.
Virtual exercise classes also boomed during the lockdown and have become commonplace since.