Lockdown led to love handles, study reveals

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The majority of those who gained weight put on a substantial amount, with 62% gaining between 3kg and 6kg. Picture: istock
The majority of those who gained weight put on a substantial amount, with 62% gaining between 3kg and 6kg. Picture: istock

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A recent study by Game has revealed what we all know – lockdown was very bad for our waistlines.

Half of the survey sample said they ended up gaining weight despite the intentions of 32% wanting to lose it, of which only 17% achieved this goal. The majority of those who gained weight put on a substantial amount, with 62% gaining between 3kg and 6kg. One respondent even said they gained a whopping 18kg. This while 61% of the 32% who intended to lose weight going into lockdown ended up gaining weight instead.

About 1 200 participants from across South Africa were surveyed. They consisted of 79.5% female and 20.5% male, ranging in age from 18 to 50+. Of the respondents, 78% came from Gauteng, Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal.

READ: Unpacking the word 'fat' - A #Trending webinar

“Lockdown was hard on all of us, especially our bodies and minds,” says Katherine Madley, vice president of marketing at game.

“We wanted to better understand how South Africans coped with the changes the lockdown made to our lifestyles and then offer ways to help them overcome their challenges by making health and wellness more accessible This could be fitness-specific, or slimming, toning and strength, or mind and body.

Trying something new

In more positive news, the survey found that many people were determined to use lockdown as a time to take back control and reset their lives. Some (59%) even saw it as an opportunity to learn something new, start a business or side hustle or, like a third of the sample (32%), lose weight. If they weren’t baking banana bread or sewing masks, they were running around the garden, some even marathon distances!

Others (12%) decided to DIY and declutter their homes, bond with their family, read 10 books, finish high school, start a new hobby (such as a kitchen garden), quit smoking or get a job.

A few indicated that they had no goals and wanted to remain in their usual work routines, while others aimed to re-evaluate their current situations and find new ways to make money.


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