Male feet on digital scales with word omg on screen. Beer and plates with junk food (sausages, potato chips, pistachios). Concept of unhealthy eating and alcohol drinking.

Young men who gain weight are nearly a third likely to die of prostate cancer. (© katiko2016 -

  • New survey on weight gain during the coronavirus outbreak reveals that the average adult has put on five pounds since beginning quarantine.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans feel they’ve been eating more unhealthy foods compared to just a few months ago.

NEW YORK — Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, exercise regimen, and diet is difficult in the best of times, and it’s become that much harder in the wake of COVID-19. With gyms shut down, many Americans have turned to junk food and late night snacks to calm their viral nerves over the past few months. While college students have long fought to keep off the infamous “freshman 15,” adults of all ages are now swearing off the newly-dubbed “COVID-15.” In fact, according to a new survey of 2,000 U.S. citizens, one in two (49%) are afraid they’ll never get their pre-quarantine body back.

The average American has put on an extra five pounds since the pandemic started, and close to two-thirds said that COVID-19 has completely messed up their plans for a healthy lifestyle in 2020. A full half of respondents have already given up on their hopes of achieving an attractive summer body this year.

Commissioned by Naked Nutrition, the survey found that 65% of Americans have “let themselves go a bit” during this lockdown period. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom; among respondents who are optimistic about getting back in shape, the average person thinks it will take eight weeks of regular training to get their old body back.

It isn’t just lack of exercise options either. Many Americans are falling back on unhealthy habits; a third are drinking more alcohol and half are eating more carbs. To be fair, though, another 54% are doing their best to still eat lots of vegetables and 46% are eating more protein.

All in all, 64% said they feel much more unhealthy today than a few months ago, mostly due to limited exercise opportunities and a poorer diet. It makes sense, then, that 64% have turned to an in-home exercise routine.

How are Americans attempting to stay fit these days? The top answer was an outdoor walk (48%), followed by exercise apps (46%), exercise websites (44%), streamed online fitness classes (41%), and pre-taped workout videos (40%).


Over half (54%) have also bought gym equipment for their home. The most common home gym purchase was dumbbells (48%). The top five home gym purchases were rounded out with yoga mats (45%), a stationary bike (41%), chairs (39%), and ankle weights (39%).

So, we’re all doing the best we can, but the vast majority of respondents (70%) don’t think their home workouts are as effective as what they were doing before COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 has been a stressful time for many, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle can support a person’s overall health and should remain a priority. This data highlights the importance of finding simple solutions for people to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle while in isolation,” says Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Lauren Manaker in a statement.

As far as supplements, 50% of Americans have added a multi-vitamin to their daily routine, 44% have started eating protein bars, and 43% have added protein powder to their diet.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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About John Anderer

Born blue in the face, John has been writing professionally for over a decade and covering the latest scientific research for StudyFinds since 2019. His work has been featured by Business Insider, Eat This Not That!, MSN, Ladders, and Yahoo!

Studies and abstracts can be confusing and awkwardly worded. He prides himself on making such content easy to read, understand, and apply to one’s everyday life.

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