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“Quarantine 15”: Did You Get Fat During the Pandemic?

11:00 November 03, 2020
By: Melanie Hucklebridge

One of the many things that closed at the start of the pandemic were gyms and other fitness centers. While many people turned to exercise as part of their lockdown routine, there are also many who are still apprehensive, even now, about returning to gyms. People working from home aren't moving as much as they move away from their more active routines. The majority of us are spending more time on the couch, and, let's face it, plenty of people are stress- or depression-eating in these difficult times. Nothing keeps the sadness at bay like baking or comfort food. And takeout, Netflix, and unemployment (or home employment) can all pile on the pounds.

In research done by RunRepeat, an online fitness guide, in a sample of 19,903 people, nearly 36 percent of people gained weight during the pandemic. While this seems to be a concerning estimate, the limited sample size of the study should make you feel a bit better about your weight management during a global pandemic.

Although people have been discussing the "Quarantine 15," the reasons for weight gain during the pandemic can be attributed to a multitude of factors. Within the U.S., most gyms were forced to close or operate under incredibly strict conditions, rendering many people without the equipment to work out as they were used to. Without jobs, many people have been forced to cut back on spending and cannot grocery shop like they could previously, thus resorting to less healthy alternatives to feed themselves.

Globally, the 36 percent of people who have gained weight are spread across 140 countries, with just over 71 percent of them gaining more than five pounds. RunRepeat also states that the United States "had the highest percentage of people gain weight during the pandemic," with 40.52 percent of American participants gaining weight. Women in New York, New Jersey, California, and Texas are those who were the most likely to experience weight gain, according to the research, with men from North Carolina, Illinois, Maryland, and Michigan exhibiting the most weight loss.

While their research doesn't include every state, weight gain and weight loss are especially hard during a pandemic. Losing and gaining weight should be done with the consultation of a medical professional to ensure that you're still getting all the nutrients that you need.

If you're interested in reading their research, visit RunRepeat.

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