Spaniards gained an average of 5.7 kg since the start of the pandemic

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Spaniards have gained an average of 5.7 kilos since the coronavirus pandemic began or, at least, this has been evidenced by a study carried out by Ipsos between October 23 and November 6 and in which they have analyzed citizens of 30 different countries.

Overall, 31 percent of all respondents around the world have seen how they gained kilos since the pandemic entered their lives, with an average of 6.1 more, although 10 percent have managed to lose weight. Weight gain may be the reason that three out of 10 citizens have exercised more in recent months, although 23 percent say they have stopped doing so.

In Spain, the world average is exceeded in terms of citizens who acknowledge having gained weight since March of last year, reaching 38 percent of the population, which places it in sixth place in the world ranking and at the top of Europe, followed by Italy (35%) and Great Britain (32%).

However, the average increase in kilos has been 5.7 kilos, which places Spain in the lower-middle part of the ranking, which is why, in the opinion of experts, even though it has been one of the countries who has gained the most weight during the pandemic, the kilos gained have been less than in many others. In fact, it is also above the global average and among the first European countries where more people have lost weight, 21 percent of Spaniards affirm it, only behind Great Britain with 24 percent.

As for physical exercise, and perhaps driven by that boom that occurred during the confinement of doing sports at home with the support of online classes, 24 percent acknowledge that their physical activity has increased. However, there are more who have been overcome by laziness or difficulties in practicing outdoor sports, and 27 percent admit that they move less than before the arrival of the virus. In this case, the Spanish are among the Europeans who have exercised the most during these months, only surpassed by the English.

Among those who have decided to get rid of those extra kilos that they have gained in recent months, 45 percent worldwide, believe that the best way to lose them is to return to a healthy diet, although without becoming a strict diet ( 52%), the same percentage are those who believe that the most important thing is to exercise more.


Dieting or reducing food intake will be the most effective for 44 percent and drinking less sugary beverages is for 38 percent, as well as consuming less alcohol for 15 percent. In the case of Spain, one in two is trying to lose weight and, as globally, for 57 percent what will help them the most to lose those extra kilos will be to have healthier eating habits, followed by more intense and frequent physical activity (50%).

Likewise, and although for every 4 out of 10 Spaniards it is best to diet and reduce the amount of food eaten, for 31 percent to drink less sugary drinks is decisive and for 2 out of 10 to drink less alcohol also helps a lot to lower weight.

For those who are committed to eating a healthier diet to remove the kilos they have gained in recent months, 62 percent of citizens globally are committed to reducing sugar in their diet, followed by calories (41%) , carbohydrates (39%), processed foods (31%) and saturated fats (28%).

Spaniards share the importance of reducing sugar in the diet in order to lose weight (65%), but in second place they place the elimination of processed food (46%), being the citizens worldwide who give more importance to this factor. This is followed by a reduction in calorie intake (38%), carbohydrates (25%) and saturated fat (37%).

On the other hand, the study has shown that 10 percent of Spaniards admit to having increased their alcohol intake and seven percent admit that they have drunk less alcohol in recent months. In this section, Spain ranks 16th in the ranking of countries that have increased alcohol consumption and is one of the European countries with the least consumption, only behind France (6%) and Italy (9%).

As for smoking, four percent admit that they have stopped this habit, the same percentage that has fallen into it during the pandemic, which places Spain among the first 6 countries that more citizens have started to smoke.


Ipsos has also asked citizens what they believe are the factors that can aggravate the symptoms of the disease in case of contracting it, observing that, globally, being physically active is the one perceived as the most beneficial in case of being positive (38% ), followed by quitting smoking (28%) and taking vitamin D supplements (26%).

There has also been a lot of information that being overweight can aggravate the disease, so 17 percent say weight loss is important to reduce the incidence of the virus. In Spain this order changes a bit, since for 39 percent what can most reduce the impact of the coronavirus would be to stop smoking, followed by the usual practice of exercise (25%), weight loss (20%) and the consumption of vitamin D supplements (18%).

Finally, and on the opinion that consumers have about whether governments and the food industry itself could do something to help them lose weight, globally 42 percent think that the most effective measure would be to lower food prices healthy, followed by enabling green spaces to practice sports (22%).

Making the nutritional tables of products and foods clearer (13%) and making healthier products (12%) would be the next most supported measures. For their part, for the Spanish, the measures that the Government and the industry could take to help lose weight would be to lower the prices of healthy food (44%), enable green spaces to practice sports (18%), ensure that the nutritional tables of products and foods are clearer (16%) and fourthly, include healthier ingredients in processed foods (13%).

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