A new report can reveal that almost half of Brits (47%) say they have put on weight since the start of lockdown. The UK Lockdown Diet Report by The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan has revealed a troubling trend with increased alcohol intake (35%), comfort eating (24%) and lack of exercise (17%) being key factors behind the weight gain, as people have socially distanced from everything but the fridge and food cupboards.
The report shows more than half (53%) of Brits stockpiled foods like pasta, chocolate and crisps, with only 13 per cent stockpiling frozen fruits and vegetables, which are known to contain essential nutrients. The diets of millennials have been most affected, with 59 per cent of respondents saying they have gained weight during lockdown, and 16% of all questioned putting on five pounds or more.
Despite the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak instigating wider conversations around the nation’s health and the importance of a balanced lifestyle, 30 per cent of Brits are still unaware of the risks associated with obesity and COVID-19, which have been recognised in recent research by Edinburgh University and Imperial College London.
However, the research shows that Brits are already planning to reduce their weight gain, with 30 per cent intending to take immediate action – by either increasing their exercise (45%), changing their current eating habits (41%) and even reducing their alcohol intake (21%).
And while lockdown is causing lots of Brits to turn to food for comfort, its implications on our health is not going unnoticed. 48% of people say their overall attitude towards their health has been affected by the outbreak, with many previously taking their health for granted or are now planning to make considerable changes to their lifestyle as a result.
From anxiety to boredom, the top 10 reasons dieters have seen a weight gain during lockdown are:
- Comfort eating
- Drinking more alcohol
- Exercising less
- Eating foods they wouldn’t normally consume
- Being bored
- Lack of routine
- Feeling stressed or anxious
- Not being able to go to the gym
- Not being able to maintain a weight loss plan as easily
- A lack of contact with others
Experts are warning that Brits 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.”