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COVID-19 : How much have Spaniards gained since the start of the pandemic?

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has had a great impact on our lives making acquired routines and habits blow up, which has been noticed both in our physical and mental health. The incorporation of new hygiene and safety habits, the reduction of social contacts and mobility are some of the consequences of the pandemic, but also the way we eat has changed.

And not for the better if we look at the consusions of a study carried out by Ipsos in 30 countries, between October 23 and November 6, 2020, which concludes that the most common consequence is weight gain: 31% of all respondents worldwide have seen how they gain kilos since the beginning of the health crisis, with an average of 6.1 kilos more.

With the data in hand, Spain is the European country where more citizens have gained weight since March 2020 (38%)followed by Italy with 35% and Great Britain with 32%. Despite the 5.7 kilos increase, Spain is in the lower-middle part of the ranking, and is among the first European countries where more people have lost weight – 21% of Spaniards affirm it – only behind Great Britain with 24%.

Habits among Spaniards

24% acknowledge that they have increased their physical activity. 27% acknowledge that they move less than before the arrival of the virus. 10% of Spaniards admit to having increased their alcohol intake, while 7% admit that they have drunk less alcohol in recent months. Regarding smoking, 4% admit that they have stopped this habit, the same percentage that has fallen into it during the pandemic. For 39%, what can most reduce the impact of the coronavirus would be to stop smoking, followed by regular exercise (25%), weight loss (20%) and the consumption of vitamin D supplements (18%) .

How Spaniards Lose Weight

57% think that what will help them the most to lose weight will be to have healthier eating habits. 50% opt for more intense and frequent physical activity). Although for every 4 out of 10 Spaniards it is best to diet and reduce the amount of food eaten. For 31%, the key is to drink less sugary drinks. For 2 out of 10, drinking less alcohol also helps a lot to lose weight.

Government and Food Industry Actions

Ipsos in this study also wanted to know the opinion of consumers about whether governments and the food industry itself could do something to help them lose weight.

Globally

42% think that the most effective measure would be to lower the prices of healthy food. Enable green spaces to practice sports (22%). Make the nutritional tables of products and foods clearer (13%). Make healthier products (12%).

In Spain

Lower the prices of healthy food (44%), Enable green spaces to practice sports (18%). Make the nutritional tables of products and foods clearer (16%). Include healthier ingredients in processed foods (13%).