Study shows Americans have gained 2 pounds a month in lockdown, so what?


The Journal of the American Medical Association just published a new study about American weight gain during the pandemic. I think I speak for most Americans when I say mind your own business, JAMA! No, I know – this is kind of what they do. A year after we were told to shelter in place for our safety and the safety of others, a new study has shown that Americans have put on an average of one and a half to two pounds per month during the lockdown.

Americans gained nearly 2 pounds per month under COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders in 2020, according to a new study published Monday in JAMA Network Open.

Those who kept the same lockdown habits could have gained 20 pounds during the past year, the study authors said.

“We know that weight gain is a public health problem in the U.S. already, so anything making it worse is definitely concerning, and shelter-in-place orders are so ubiquitous that the sheer number of people affected by this makes it extremely relevant,” Gregory Marcus, MD, the senior author and a cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told The New York Times.

Marcus and colleagues analyzed more than 7,000 weight measurements from 269 people in 37 states who used Bluetooth-connected scales from Feb. 1 through June 1, 2020. Among the participants, about 52% were women, 77% were white, and they had an average age of 52.

The research team found that participants had a steady weight gain of more than half a pound every 10 days. That equals about 1.5 to 2 pounds per month.

Many of the participants were losing weight before the shelter-in-place orders went into effect, Marcus told The Times. The lockdown effects could be even greater for those who weren’t losing weight before.

“It’s reasonable to assume these individuals are more engaged with their health in general, and more disciplined and on top of things,” he said. “That suggests we could be underestimating — that this is the tip of the iceberg.”

[From Web MD]

I was definitely not losing weight before I went into lockdown. The opposite, actually, because I was dealing with perimenopause. So I am 13 pounds over my goal weight. But only seven of those are pandemic pounds. I am trying to figure out if this study makes me feel better or not. The truth is, for the first time, I don’t care about my weight from a vanity perspective. We’ve dealt with so many health problems in my family, both physical and mental, from minor to dire, that I’m much more focused on my health. Obviously, I know weight is a part of health, but I’m not sweating my waistline right now.

We all knew what these studies would show. Stay-at-home has been a parade of people finding their inner baker and the first half saw a lot of self-medicating with booze. Plus, all those fun themed dinner experiences? No one ever recreated Deb’s Diet Café. I can tell you from experience, you can pack a week’s worth of calories into one well-done movie night. But we’ll get to our post-pandemic food plans in a minute. Honestly, we did what we needed to get through this nightmare. When gyms shut, some folks didn’t have a plan B. As we watched millions of people get sick and suffer, and we fretted about how close to home this would hit, any source of comfort was a gift. The last year has been hell. We survived. Let’s celebrate that first and worry about those pandemic pounds once we’re out from under its thumb.



Photos credit: Artem Labunsky on Unsplash and Ketut Subiyanto and Sam Lion on Pexels

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86 Responses to “Study shows Americans have gained 2 pounds a month in lockdown, so what?”

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  1. Topaz says:

    Love the pictures for this story. Makes me feel so much better about my weight gain during this pandemic.

    • bibi says:

      Me too! I was losing weight because I was running on the treadmill and then April came and right when it was major pandemic crisis, the treadmill decided not to work anymore. And I had just found the last flour bag at my grocery store: a bag of 22lbs. (that bag was cherished like I had just found gold). anyway, I estimated 10 to 12 lbs gained but I was wrong, it was more like 4 lbs for the whole time. And I think that’s because I have not been eating out this whole time except for maybe less than 10 times. everything else was made from scratch, I am coming out as proud homechef and baker from the pandemic.

    • AmberMarie says:

      Agreed! I’ve been feeling shamed of my “quarantine 15” while trying to transition into summer clothes but have been trying to keep it in perspective. I’m happy to know I’m not the only one who didn’t stop cooking/baking sprees after the beginning of quarantine. Albeit, the wine consumed before this inauguration did not help either…

      • yeperz says:

        I looked at the weight watcher option, but I think I just have to wait to emerge like the rest of the world & work, go to the gym & date again<< Trifecta of weight loss

      • Heat says:

        “Quarantine 15” is good. My friends and I are calling it the “Covid 19”.
        I’ve been working from home since March 2020, and the talk is that my job will be returning to the office next September-ish. I am terrified to find out how my office attire is going to fit! Honestly, I’m hoping that jogging/yoga pants will be acceptable.

    • Nina says:

      After reading thru these responses I think we should all give each other a virtual hug! We are who we are! xxooxxoo

  2. SusieQ says:

    A columnist in the NYT had a completely garbage take on all of this. She shamed people for doing what they had to do, and basically said that if she managed to stay thin during all of this, everyone else should have too.

    I actually lost weight I didn’t have to lose because I got Covid 7 months ago, and it destroyed my sense of smell and taste. I don’t know that they will ever be like they were. It’s depressing and honestly a bit scary.

    • Lemons says:

      I just don’t understand takes like this. When we’re getting more and more articles about the national psyche and mental state during lockdown after a year, I think you can handle people gaining weight instead of offing themselves or those around them.

      I’m lucky to have had a FT remote job, a functional apartment with my boyfriend and dog, and I have still gained just under 10 pounds and have not been doing well mentally.

      I just bought a spin bike and signed up for a Peloton membership so I can start to feel active and a part of something again.

      I hope you’re doing better after Covid and do hope your senses return to normal. I can’t imagine having to go through the same thing. Stay strong!

    • Ellie says:

      That is a garbage take. However, I’ve noticed my VO2 max is worse than it was from before the pandemic (per my Apple Watch), probably because I don’t have the gym to go to and it’s a pain even to run outside because I live in the city. So while I’m not beating myself up about this and I don’t think others should either, I do think people should keep their health in mind and try to get back to where they were if they can. Again – health wise, feeling good wise, NOT pounds wise necessarily.

    • Nina says:

      I don’t wish to know people who judge that way. I put on a solid 20. Even my mother told me I was fat the other day. {she is 91 and has lost her filter. I responded by slamming things around in her apartment and reminding her that of her three children, I’m the only who does stuff for her.} But I’m committed to losing it now as I have one year to retirement and I need to be healthy to do all the fun stuff I have planned! There’s a pretty good app called LoseIt that I’m using and I like it so far. YMMV.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      SusieQ, I’ve read that people with long Covid were helped by the vaccine. After the second shot (36 hours+ post) they felt way better. If you haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, maybe you’ll get your sense of smell and taste back. I hope so!

  3. Astrid says:

    Im right up there! I’ve spent the pandemic working from home at the dinning table next to the kitchen, feeding two teenage boys. I”m pleased that I gained “only” 11 pounds this past year.

    • Tom says:

      I haven’t gotten on the scale. I avoid it because then I start obsessing. I do an hour on my elliptical every night and my clothes fit almost the same.

      Chocolate to raisin bread to a brief fling with cake to pizza were my phases this past year. I think I’m over all that. Could easily backslide if there’s bad news about the new variants.

    • Thaisajs says:

      Yeah, I gained back the 10 lbs I lost and added 2 on top of that. All in all, not that bad? It’s been a very very hard year for me.

  4. Lily Evans says:

    Yeah… There have been several studies in the Netherlands as well, about lockdown having a negative effect on people’s health (duh), people between the ages of 16-20 having fewer contacts and less sex (duh, and also, what about the rest of us), negative psychological effects, etc. And I get it, you need the research in order to determine future health policies and such, but also… I really don’t want to hear this right now? I don’t want to know how staying inside to keep myself and others safe is making me unhealthy and having a negative impact on my (love) life for years to come. Tell me about it when I’ve been fully vaccinated. Right now all these studies are doing is spiking my anxiety.

    • Sigmund says:

      Exactly. For the last year, most of us haven’t had a lot of good options, and we’re just picking the best and safest option from a bunch of terrible ones. Like, yes, staying home all the time typically means you eat more, put on weight, and get lonely, but we’re in a pandemic that’s dragged on unnecessarily long precisely because more people didn’t stay home sooner. At least the vaccinations give us a little hope that the end of this nightmare is coming.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yeah this kind of stuff can wait until things are a lot more “normal”. There isn’t a person out there who hasn’t been affected or stressed by this in some way, everyone needs to be cut some slack about a bit of weight gain. A few months after things are safe again? Sure, articles about “hey, it’s been ok for a bit, time to get out there and improve your health, get fit, blah blah blah”. Right now? Not so much.

  5. Sean says:

    I was furloughed last April, laid off in July and started a new job that requires me to ride a train for 45 minutes. I was also lied to about the parameters of this job and I’m miserable there. Also, people on the train don’t always adhere to the mask mandate that’s a LAW. Not to mention the stress brought on by simply trying not to get sick with a potentially fatal virus.

    So yes, I’ve been stress eating. I think most have been compensating in similar ways

  6. Sam the Pink says:

    To quote a famous person, “Well, duh.”

    We were told to stock up for lockdowns – when in lockdown, you are not going to be purchasing fresh produce with a limited shelf life. You are going to buy shelf-stable, processed foods that you can have for extended periods of time. And most of those will add weight to you, since they are so calorically dense. We were also told to do our bit to help prop up the restaurant industry by buying takeout – and we did. We were told to stay inside – so we did. How, taking all that together, is this news?

    Frankly, it has been sort of gratifying to watch the scolds get dragged so well online for this.

    • Fabiola says:

      I stopped eating salads and stocked up on pasta, rice and frozen pizza. Things that last long and I can hear to kill the germs. I was also lucky that my job allowed me to work at home. That’s caused me to stop wearing jeans and just wear sweats all day. Now I’m 10 lbs heavier. Hopefully I can go back to my normal weight once things fully open up and I’ll be motivated to fit into my jeans.

    • Deering24 says:

      Sam the Pink—_thank_ you. People can’t win for losing with media/advertising crap like this because it’s 1) all about controlling their behavior, 2) shaming them into buying stuff. I give the fashion/health industrial complex a month before it starts trying to shame us into skinny clothes again.

  7. Becks1 says:

    i’ve gained about 10-12 pounds over the past year, but I was already the heaviest I had ever been when the pandemic started and was about to start trying to lose weight. I kept working out through the pandemic, but I know my eating and drinking werent the healthiest. I also didnt realize how much going to the office, even twice a week, helped me to stay more active – I was getting about 3-4k more steps a day on office days than stay at home days, just with little things – like walking into daycare to pick up the kids, or walking up the stairs after lunch. Also I’m not doing as much errand-running as I used to, no volunteering at school, etc – all that kind of stuff that helped me stay active outside of exercising.

    the frustrating thing for me though about my weight gain is that I only gained about 2 pounds through August, and then once the kids started virtual learning I gained the other 8-10 pounds, and I had gained it by December/January. So I gained that 10 pounds in about 4 months. once they started virtual school my exercise schedule went downhill, bc I couldnt be on the bike or working out when they needed to start classes bc I had to make sure my kindergartener was logging in at the right time, so it was a lot of 20 minute classes or on demand classes at odd times where I dont work as hard. So its not the end of the world, but right now I am just completely lacking motivation to do anything about it. I guess the good thing is that my weight has stayed pretty stable since January, so at least thats something.

    • EMc says:

      Your first sentence is my experience in a depressing nutshell. In March of 2020 we moved from Virginia to SC which was horrible timing. We lived in our motorhome for several months, including right through the hottest summer I’ve ever experienced and we didn’t want to be outside. Roll that all together and I feel like a whale.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      Becks1 I can so relate!

      Since 2005 I’ve lost about 190 lbs. and kept it off and stable the past 5 pre-pandemic years. But like you, just running around, doing my “normal day” of errands and such were enough to keep it off and level.

      Even the first months of last year, the anxiety completely killed my appetite, so even though I started drinking 2 glasses of wine a night (instead of my usual 1) I still kept it pretty stable. Starting around June last year, I noticed my wt. creeping up. Yet, I didn’t/couldn’t seem to make the scale go down. And while I kind of *knew* it was the extra wine (and the snack with it), as well as the afternoon grazing (boredom), it didn’t seem to make me stop, even as I would get agitated when “bowing down to the Numbers God” every morning 😄. I tried working out to YouTube, but I just don’t have the stick-to-it-ness to keep it up (I hate to exercise lol)

      In the last two weeks, I stopped the wine (and accompanying snacking with it) every night. I only “indulge” now on with one glass on Fri. (Shabbat with the family) and perhaps one small one on Sat., and that’s it. No drinking the rest of the time. I’ve lost 7 of the 18 I gained. And it’s HARD! I LIKE my wine! lol. But it’s what is working, and I’m going to stick with it.

      I’m starting to look into getting in “Respite Care” help to be with my dad so I can get out and take walks and whatnot 2 days a week; it’s hard to find vaccinated help though, because they’re not considered “health care workers”, and I won’t leave him with someone who’s not had the vaccine.

      Still…I’m hopeful! Haven’t tried on the zippered pants yet, but by the end of April I’m hoping they’ll be close to fitting perfectly again! Fingers crossed!

  8. Sarah says:

    Hi. It’s okay to gain weight. Don’t let the new surge of diet culture bullshit get you down. You’re surviving this hellscape and that matters 💚

  9. Mcmmom says:

    I think I’m ending the pandemic about where I started because I gained and then lost weight, mainly because I gave up sweets and alcohol at the first of the year. It was really, really easy to stress eat and end every day with a glass of wine. And then that glass turned into two and I went from not drinking during the week pre-Covid to polishing off a bottle Monday – Friday and it started to scare me. I don’t care about my weight as much as relieved I’m not ending Covid with a raging alcohol problem.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      I so hear you!! It was a bit of a shock to realize how intently I’d be looking at the time, chomping at the bit (so to speak) until it was “wine time” every day! I think I had more to drink in the last year than I have in the last couple of years prior to lockdown!

      The last sentence that you wrote… omg, yes! I do care about the weight (because I struggled SO HARD to lose so much), but the alcohol dependency was scary!!

      • Fabiola says:

        I’ve never drank as much as I did this year. In the past I would have a glass of wine a couple of nights a week but now it’s 2 every night. Wine time is my favorite time of the day. It’s very scary how dependent I’ve come.

      • ElleEagle says:

        @Fabiola you are not alone and there is a problem that has to be addressed soon.
        Before the lockdown, wine was heavily marketed to women and we totally bought into it. Wine-thirty, mommy wine culture, it encouraged getting buzzed before 6pm and liquor stores were designated “essential “ and they delivered.

        Without the structure of commutes, routines or the need to be sober to attend a morning class, wine drinking is now something some women’s start around lunch time. I had to give up drinking to quit smoking- I just kept failing and had to give up both. I am actually scared that if i had a drink, I would be right back where I was in 2006.

        The first few days with out having a Guinness with dinner, I actually felt tipsy anyway- that kind of scared me straight.

      • ElleEagle says:

        @Fabiola you are not alone and there is a problem that has to be addressed soon.
        Before the lockdown, wine was heavily marketed to women and we totally bought into it. Wine-thirty, mommy wine culture, it encouraged getting buzzed before 6pm and liquor stores were designated “essential “ and they delivered.

        Without the structure of commutes, routines or the need to be sober to attend a morning class, wine drinking is now something some women’s start around lunch time. I had to give up drinking to quit smoking- I just kept failing and had to give up both. I am actually scared that if i had a drink, I would be right back where I was in 2006.

        The first few days with out having a Guinness with dinner, I actually felt tipsy anyway- that kind of scared me straight.

  10. Elsa says:

    I lost my job and need to buy new clothes for interviews. I never understood the privilege I used to have to be able to go into any store and find clothes that fit. I went to 6 outlet stores yesterday and there was nothing over 14US.

    • FancyHat says:

      It really is a shock how bad the options are if you are plus size. I have zero options at the massive outlet by me to shop at now that Under Armor bought Lucy and got rid of their plus line.

    • Cee says:

      I’m a size 10-12 right now and it’s impossible to find anything that fits me. I have 2 pairs of jeans and that’s it.
      (I’m not in the US)

    • Nina says:

      I shop a lot on QVC. I’m a solid 16-18 and there are many options, from pants to dresses. Check out the Attitudes by Renee line – I love her stuff, especially the pants. I get compliments all the time on the tops and dresses.

    • notasugarhere says:

      I sympathize. I’ve always relied on charity/thrift stores for business clothes, both for cost savings and for one-size-up, one-size-down type of weight gain. Now you cannot try on or return anything, which means I’m taking chances buying stuff that might not fit – and can’t be returned. But that’s always been my way of stocking the work clothing cupboard.

  11. Miss Jupitero says:

    My weight stayed the same, but honestly I am more concerned about the muscle tone I’ve lost, the ongoing pain and aches I feel, my anxiety levels, and my scotch habit.

    • Chicken Tetrazzini! says:

      There are some good online yoga options that will definitely help with the muscle tone and some of the aches/pains. Yoga with Adrienne is very accessible for beginners on Youtube if you need one place to start.

    • mander says:

      This. Only mine is a martini habit.

  12. Darla says:

    The pandemic will have shortened life spans in numbers we’ll never know. It’s just how it is. But what concerns me most is suicide rates. Mental health needs to be the damn FIRST issue the medical community is discussing. And running to their go-to move: IT’S THE FATTIES, all they will accomplish is stopping people from reaching out for help.

    It’s not my mental health, it’s that I gained weight, people will say to themselves. If I go to a doctor, they’ll weigh me and tell me I’m fat. And on and on and on.

    I honestly sometimes just hate everything.

    • Noodle says:

      @darla, thank you for saying this. We had a suicide attempt in my immediate family last week. I spent days in the hospital, then agonized for the term of their inpatient hospitalization. The stress and insomnia alone has me down 10 pounds. I always used to eat my depression. Now the pendulum has swung the other way. It’s heartbreaking and awful and I have so little control.

  13. chai35 says:

    I’m just going to embrace it and say I’m proud to be very much above average in how much I gained this past year. I didn’t realize how much I depended on the extrinsic motivation of running races until they were all cancelled!

    • Noodle says:

      Statistically I think the “average” will need some adjustment on the bell curve after this is over. Survived (at any weight and in any shape) is the new average.

  14. DeltaJuliet says:

    I’ve definitely put on some weight during the pandemic (and yeah, perimenopause isn’t helping me either). I think the only thing that “saved” me was having to go to the office every day. My pants are way tighter than they should be but they do still fit.

  15. mellie says:

    Sounds about right….I’ve gained about 15 lbs, despite still running outdoors at least 3 times a week, even in the freezing weather and doing virtual work outs that my gym posted. I still baked bread, muffins, pizza dough, cookies, cakes, scones etc, etc, etc….the baking/cooking COVID bug hit me hard. Oh well.

  16. Veruca Salty says:

    I definitely packed on 15 lbs in the last year and it really sucks. I know what I need to do to lose it but I just really am enjoying getting everything DoorDashed, what can I say?

    • Becks1 says:

      This is my current issue. I know what I need to do to lose the weight. but I DONT WANNA. I like pasta. I like carbs. I like to eat in general. I like chocolate. I like ice cream. Cake I am not the biggest fan of, but I love cookies. and bagels. and pizza. (see the problem?) I actually dont eat that unhealthy, I just have a portion control problem.

      ANYWAY lol – I know what I need to do, but its hard to actually motivate myself to do it. And yes, part of the problem is the eating out! In the beginning of the pandemic, we considered it doing our part to help local restaurants, and I think it worked bc none of our local restaurants have closed. But I probably need to stop ordering takeout 3 times a week at this point.

      I’m hoping the warm weather is motivating lol.

      • JanetDR says:

        @Becks1 I hear you! I decided to do a “cleanse” and did a month eating vegan with no corn, grains, sugar or legumes. I’ve been a vegetarian for 30+ years but love my cheese, butter, and cream in my coffee. After reintroducing some things and paying attention to how I feel, I am continuing to avoid dairy and corn. I added oats back in right away (gotta have my porridge!). I try and make sure that I eat fruits and veggies first; make my own chocolate treats once in awhile with maple syrup as a sweetener; have Ezekiel bread /muffins because I must have toast; and I’ve lost 30 pounds which I have been trying to lose for years (more to go). Arthritis is greatly improved and I am starting to think rosacea is as well (my biggest trigger has always been heat/cold so I still get flushed). At the beginning I ordered Misfits boxes as a way to force myself to eat more fruits and veggies (I’ve always been a carb eater too). I am not committed to eating like this forever, but just seeing how it goes.

      • madameX says:

        Yes to the constant takeout! We have super-cushy WFH jobs, but the tedium of being at home all the time, and burnout of our workloads, stress and uncertainty, and trying to wrangle a toddler… we’re always going to the local bakeries to eat our feelings and then getting takeout 2-3x a week. Initially we were trying to help the local restaurants. Then it became habit and a crutch. So now I feel like a failure because our weight, and a failure when I read trend pieces about how much money many white collar workers have saved.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I’m with you Becks1. The motivation isn’t there for salad, but ice cream, chocolate, and bread are my go-tos. Thankfully I have a dog that insists on being walked twice a day, and getting out in to sunlight helps with mood.

  17. Doodle says:

    I’ve gained and am now starting to lose weight. But my focus is more on how healthy my family and I are mentally and emotionally. I really wish that was more the focus, because last year was a hellscape and in light of a week filled with shootings I feel like that’s where the attention should be, not on fat people.

  18. Cate says:

    I really think this number has to be on the high end. ALL of their participants were actively losing weight before the pandemic began. We know that people often regain weight they lose on diets, so a group of people on a diet is somewhat pre-disposed to start gaining weight if the diet gets interrupted! I am guessing if this study was extended to include people who weren’t trying to lose weight the average number would be much lower.

    And yes, it’s ridiculous that there is this hand-wringing over weight gain when this time has had so many deeper impacts. Most people I know are talking about what it’s done to their mental health, not their waistline.

    • megs283 says:

      Cate, I agree. I was already overweight and fairly inactive before the pandemic started, and I’ve gained maybe 2-3 lbs this year. I think people who were actively working out are the ones who have gained weight, as their routines were forced to change. If you’re constantly working out to keep 10-15 pounds at bay, it makes sense that they’d appear.

    • Sarah says:

      I posted The NY Times article on Twitter a few days ago because I was so horrified by it. This “study” is incredibly poorly designed and should not be extrapolated to apply to the general population. It was 300 people who own smart scales. Not randomized at all.

      Never mind the fact that we are dealing with a pandemic and let’s maybe focus on that instead of freaking out about weight gain.

  19. Watson says:

    COVID pros: I’ve become a stellar baker
    COVID cons: I’m very good at eating my own baked goods. Lol!

    I force myself to exercise because if i don’t the crushing weight of COVID anxiety and depression makes me cry. I don’t care so much that I’m gaining weight…I care more about what this pandemic is doing to my brain.

  20. FancyHat says:

    I got a pandemic puppy that needs to be walked 5 miles a day so I lost 40 lbs this past year. However, I haven’t been able to go to the hairdresser or hair removal place so I look like a hairy lumberjack in my too big clothes. So it all evens out

  21. GrnieWnie says:

    I’m in the best shape of my life due to Covid, just because our local government did a good job handling it so we had few lockdowns. Working from home has made it so much easier to go to the gym.

  22. Case says:

    I lost some weight during the last year because what made me feel mentally fit was doing yoga regularly and cutting out alcohol. Plus I used to eat out a lot and now I rarely get takeout, so it makes sense that I’d lose weight, but everyone is just doing what it takes to survive. Gain, lose, stay the same, we should all be proud for surviving this traumatic time.

    The one thing I’m worried about is stamina once we come out of this, honestly. Even though I do some home workouts I don’t really walk anywhere, and it’s going to take a while to rebuild that ability.

  23. Leah says:

    I remember the baking stage because I was trying to find a breadmaker (none to be found) and yeast (as hard to find as purell). I went through that bake your own bread like Laura Ingalls stage but then moved on to building/painting plastic models. Got tired of that and got into spring cleaning my place before spring. I remember at the very beginning of the pandemic going to a grocery store and most of the meat and produce was cleaned out but the liquor and ice cream was untouched. It was at the survival stage of the pandemic, it hadn’t reached the cope stage yet.

    At the beginning I was really into cheese puffs, but that lasted all of three months. I think any lbs anyone put on was out of worry and they say that the pandemic also aged all of us a year.

    Right now I am still kind of a pandemic mode when it comes to buying certain things. Manly things I couldn’t find last year, purell, clorox wipes, lysol and I am still buying the cat’s food months in advance. It’s going to take a while to get out of that mind set of the empty shelves.

  24. Katie says:

    To be fair, I’ve been about the same weight always, so yeah, no weight gain even without the gym, kinda shockingly tbh. Also, am I such a psycho or what that I don’t really feel all of this has been all that rough? I barely miss any of the before and now I can just not talk to sales associates or neighbors and even though they think it’s rude it’s kinda acceptable due to the current context so I just do it.

    • Cate says:

      I was already working out at home pre-pandemic and I wasn’t trying to lose weight and my weight has stayed about the same. I had a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage last fall so did gain some weight related to that, but it seems to have come off again and now I’m back at my usual weight. I actually feel like I have a healthier lifestyle overall now than pre-pandemic! With less time spent commuting I have more time to spend on stuff like meditation and also preparing quality meals. And I’m definitely doing less stress eating. At the same time, being at home allllll the time is taking a toll on my mental health, though the effect is subtle compared to what I’ve heard from others. It’s sounding like my job may go largely remote permanently so I am hoping once this pandemic is over I can start to enjoy socializing but still skip some of the big stressors in my pre-pandemic life (commute and being stuck in an office all day).

  25. Gil says:

    I actually lost some pounds but it was because I had a rule before the pandemic “never drink at home”. All my extra pounds were from margaritas and pinas coladas I was drinking when dinning out. Also I got into workouts at home. Getting a mini trampoline was a good decision.

  26. Gab says:

    Being overweight makes a person more at risk to severe COVID.

    • Arpeggi says:

      Yes we know. Doesn’t mean that knowing this will help people lose weight overnight: if it was easy, there wouldn’t be any overweight person

    • lucy2 says:

      True, but I don’t think the 10-15 lbs they’re talking about it that big a deal for most people.

  27. JEM says:

    Food was the one stable comfort I had this year. I gained weight and it bums me out and nothing fits, but I felt like it was such a burden to try to control my food intake while dealing with a depressed partner, small kids, and a job. And trying to avoid a deadly virus.

  28. Anne says:

    I have lost weight over the past year… but due to debilitating depression. It’s sickening how our society equates weight loss with health.

    • TaraBest says:

      Anne, I’m sorry to hear that. My sister and I are also people who lose weight with depression and it’s not fun. Especially when people want to comment on it like it’s a good thing and all you can think about is how miserable you are. I welcome weight gain as it means I’m moving in to a happier place in my life. I hope you can get some relief from your depression soon.

  29. Other Renee says:

    I comfort ate all year and put back the 20 lbs I had lost before covid. For a while I worked out via zoom with my daughter til her workload increased exponentially. I still walk daily but got bored of walking in my neighborhood more than it took to walk my dogs and was too paranoid to walk in more crowded areas. I’m not going to berate myself. It happened. I’m now fully vaccinated and next week (after my 14 days is up since second vaccine) plan to return to the very large, spacious gym I haven’t seen in a year. This week was the first time I walked on a (nearly empty) beach in a year and it felt great. I feel like I’m coming out of hibernation and little by little taking control of the situation.

  30. Tatyana says:

    Staying fit and holding onto a healthy weight is hard. Yes. But nothing worthwhile is easy in our lives. It is a sad truth unfortunately and it takes physical and mental strength which helps during an unpredictable tough times. And, yes, low weight does equal a healthier body. Pandemic has been raging on for a year, it may be time to start returning to our regular habits rather than be miserable and make excuses.

  31. 2lazy4username says:

    i had my annual the other day and was HORRIFIED To see i’d gained 15 lbs! I knew I’d gained some weight, but I thought it was around 5 lbs. I don’t even know how my clothes still fits the same? Anyway, event though it made me sad, it also kicked my butt into gear. I cut out all carbs and sugar on the spot and bought new running shoes. It’s only been a week, but I can already feel the difference. My goal is to be back in shape by June.

  32. salmonpuff says:

    I’ve exercised at the same rate as pre-pandemic, maybe even more, and my eating habits are the same, maybe better because of less dining out. And although I’ve been actively trying to lose weight for several years, it’s just not happening. Perimenopause (for me) and the flood of cortisol we’ve all been hit with over the past year is no joke.

    Could I do better? Sure… But there’s a reason Americans on the whole have gotten fatter over the last 50 years, and it’s not all because we’re lazy slobs addicted to bad food. IMO, weight-shaming is the same “personal responsibility” BS that puts everything on the individual without regard for the systemic issues caused by the U.S. refusing to regulate much of anything and allowing corporate profits to dictate public policy decisions, including about food.

    • lucy2 says:

      Perimenopause + stress is the worst.

      • salmonpuff says:

        Right?! And for a lot of women those perimenopause years are the most stressful years in general with needing to do big career pushes so you can stay employed as you age, parents getting older, teenage children if you have them, and you, your friends and your family starting to go through major life upheavals. My early 40s were rough! Add in a global pandemic and pivotal election and we’re lucky to still be halfway sane.

  33. Veronica S. says:

    Well, no shit lol. Gyms were closed, which disrupted most people’s routines, and if you’re in a more urban area, you couldn’t exercise outside without a mask. Then you’re stuck inside the house, which means constant access to food, so snacking is easy to do without thinking. Compound that with depression, stress, anxiety, etc…that can increase fat storage, appetite, and compulsive eating for some people.

    I’ve been fortunate to have exercise equipment in the home that allowed me to keep up with routines even when the gym closed, so while I didn’t lose, I didn’t gain either. I do feel bad for everyone who did, though, because they’re about to get hammered with the most obnoxious weight loss campaign of all time from companies looking to jump on people’s lower self-esteem and vulnerability.

  34. TaraBest says:

    I got rid of my scale years ago and am happy to report I have no idea how much weight I may have gained over the past year! Truthfully, I’ve fluctuated all year and had phases of clothes fitting and then not fitting. I’m happy to say that I’m drinking less than I was at this time last year, but also working out less so I need to work on that. At the end of the day, it’s an effing pandemic where many of us lost jobs, and had to watch family/friends suffer with a terrible virus. Leave our weight out of it!

  35. ebethjanna says:

    i understand the value of studies like this from a wider health perspective, i do, but i think it’s essential that we allow some time and space before these results are published to the general public, because receiving them while we’re still in the thick of things is just unnecessarily shaming and triggering.

    i have an eating disorder that’s been exacerbated by the mental strain of this whole situation, so i am losing weight during the pandemic, and let me tell you: if it was an option for me to put on ten or fifteen pounds and have decent mental health, i absolutely would take that deal.

    your mind AND your body deserve to be taken care of, and in the context of the pandemic that might look different than it used to and that’s okay. the number on the scale doesn’t matter, and i promise it’s a living nightmare to have your sense of self-worth so intertwined with it. please ignore anyone who tells you different and just wear some comfy pants.

  36. Faye G says:

    Stress and depression caused me to lose about 15 pounds around the time of the George Floyd protests. I don’t recommend that method of weight loss! I’ve managed to keep it off, partly because I got into a real Korean traditional cooking hobby, which is full of healthy ingredients.

    I feel like this article was unnecessary, I know it has to do with Health but we are all surviving a pandemic here! Fat shaming should be absolutely at the bottom of anyone’s agenda.

  37. Coji says:

    I will not be shamed for my emotional support food. I gained “the COVID 19” lbs but I also worked in a hospital lab every day and managed to not get COVID or die. I’m calling that a win. We all need to be gentle on ourselves because we’ve been under enormous stress and as long as our coping mechanisms don’t hurt other people we’ve got nothing to feel bad for. Screw anyone who says otherwise.

  38. Amber says:

    I’ve gained weight this year and it’s done a number on my body image and also triggered a lot of disordered eating as an attempt to lose it again. I have suffered from disordered eating many times in the past, almost always connected to some external stressor like a relationship or a job. Being isolated has also kept me less accountable in managing my disorder. I used to work at a restaurant where the cooks just always made sure I ate during my meal break. I couldn’t hide my food or avoid eating because there was always food we needed to use up before it went bad (restaurants throw away food that’s perfectly edible every day. The employees might as well eat what doesn’t get sold). Now that I’m alone a lot, I don’t have the guardrails I used to.
    I am honestly worried about what my friends will think when they see me after all of this. I really want to lose weight. Some days it’s practically all I think about.

  39. Regina Falangie says:

    You are more than your waist line. You are way more than a number on a scale. You are wonderful EXACTLY the way you are. You are loved beyond your own understanding and you are accepted exactly the way you are.

    Take in those words as truth. Don’t let doubt and fear creep in and tell you otherwise.

    One more time:

    You are more than your waist line. You are way more than a number on a scale. You are wonderful EXACTLY the way you are. You are loved beyond your own understanding and you are accepted exactly the way you are


  40. Isa says:

    I gained weight. I had just started at the gym before things closed again. I kept my gym membership for the year as a way to support a small business, but I didn’t go.
    I also struggled with insomnia due to anxiety for the first time in my life. Normally I’m a sleep-the-pain-away type of person, so you can imagine how stressed I was, which contributed to weight gain. Layoffs at work meant I was working more than usual and by the time I got home it was easier to support local businesses by buying take out. Or we cooked easy meals that came out of a box. Then we moved a relative in to keep them out of a nursing home. (Huge hugs to those that had no choice. I know there’s multiple reasons why caring for aging loved ones can’t happen at home.) and what do aging people want to eat? Most of the time it’s junk because that’s the taste buds they have left. So that’s what you make so they will eat SOMETHING. The relative passed away so now I’m dealing with grief.

    I’m really struggling with my body image and I’m so ready to do something about it. I know my mental health is better when I exercise. It’s a need. Not something I should do to look better. But how do I do that when I’m barely keeping my above water? At one point I was supposed to be working overtime and homeschooling and worrying about a deadly virus with my support systems ripped away. Daycares closed. Schools closed. Everytime I asked my kids grandparents for help I worried we passed a deadly virus to them.

    And all throughout this I’m still acutely aware how lucky I am. I know someone that lost their husband to the virus. I know people that have lost their parents/grandparents too soon. I know people that have had to learn how to walk again.

    It’s just a lot.

  41. Eenie Googles says:

    Everyone obsessing about how to lose the weight, please listen to the “you’re Wrong About” episode on obesity.
    Just please, please learn about new weight loss science.