Have you packed on pandemic pounds? Study shows just how much weight we’ve gained in past year

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DENVER (KDVR) — There’s new research out showing exactly how many pounds we’ve packed on over the past year.

According to the American Psychological Association, 61% of Americans experienced undesired weight change during the pandemic.

This includes undesired weight gain and undesired weight loss.

The report says 42% of Americans gained a whopping 29 pounds on average.

Here in Colorado, dietitians at UCHealth estimate we gained an extra 10 to 20 extra pounds (on average).

Instead of the “Freshmen 15” they’re referring to it as the “COVID 15.”

“Well, I think a lot of people have heard of the ‘Freshmen 15’, right? You go off to college and you gain the ‘Freshmen 15.’ I’ve been hearing a lot of people say, ‘Well, I’ve gained the COVID 15’ — and I have seen a pretty consistent trend of the 10 to 20 pounds of weight gain,” said Stephanie Snell, a clinical dietitian with UCHealth.

On the flip side, that same research shows about 18% of Americans have unintentionally lost weight during the pandemic due to things like stress and anxiety.

On average, the group who lost weight, experienced a loss of about 26 pounds.

Breaking down the data even further, you’ll see more women are reporting weight gain, compared to men, but when it comes to by how many pounds, women gained fewer with an average of 22 pounds versus 37 pounds for men.

“I saw a lot of people who were trying to lose weight pre-pandemic. They got sent home and kind of looked at it as an opportunity as, ‘Well, this is going to be short term, so maybe I can be a little more relaxed in my dietary goals’ and then this short term has turned into a year,” said Snell.

The report goes on to show 48% of millennials reported undesired weight gain, with an average of 41 pounds.

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