How has body weight changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Mensink, Gert B.M.
Background: Measures for containing the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 resulted in drastic changes in physical activity and dietary habits that also impacted body weight. Methods: The representative study German Health Update (GEDA 2021) includes self-reported information about body weight and body height for adults aged 18 years and older (n=2,985) from July to October 2021. In addition, the study asked about changes in body weight since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: For 59% of participants, body weight has not changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 26% report weight gain, and 15% report weight loss. Younger people indicate weight gain more often than older people, and individuals with obesity report weight gain more often than individuals without obesity. 1.5 years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the average weight change within the population is approximately +0.34kg. Conclusions: The effects of restrictions in everyday life with regard to the possible negative impacts on body weight should be given greater consideration and should be monitored in the future.
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