Lockdown: Survey finds that many in SA gained weight, despite trying to lose a few kilos

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  • The coronavirus lockdown resulted in weight gain for a large number of South Africans
  • This was despite a general intention to lose weight during this period
  • The weight gain was linked to increased eating and lower levels of exercise


The nationwide lockdown left South Africans with few options as to how they could spend their time.

During this time, social media was flooded with posts committing to either strict eating plans or rigorous at-home workout plans, indicating that many had plans to make significant lifestyle changes. 

An online survey conducted by chain retailer Game sought to find out how lockdown impacted the weight of South Africans.

Diet and exercise equally important

Participants (1 200) from across the country (with 78% from major provinces Gauteng, Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal) took part in the survey. Thirty-two percent of the participants expressed that they saw the lockdown period as an opportunity to work on losing weight. 

Despite having high hopes, half of the sample reported weight gain. Only 17% of the sample of individuals ended up losing weight. Sixty-two percent of the people who intended to lose weight, gained weight instead. 

The results of the survey also indicated that weight loss and gain were tied to eating habits, as only 39% of participants claimed to eat the same as before lockdown. A lack of physical activity is also to blame for weight gain, as 53% of participants ended up not exercising at all. 

The findings of the survey prove – as many studies have previously shown – that diet and exercise are equally important in order to reach weight loss goals. 

Image credit: iStock

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