More than half the world’s population wants to lose weight: Many consumers pile on pandemic pounds

Rishad Dsouza
April 29, 2021, 12:04 PM UTC

A new YouGov survey conducted in 17 markets around the globe reveals that 45% of people gained weight during the lockdown, while only 15% say they lost weight.

Mexico registered the highest proportion of weight gainers at 56% of the population. Italy was next on the list with half (51%) of respondents indicating they gained weight. It was the only other market to breach the 50% mark. Swedes (36%) and Danes (39%) are amongst the least likely to have put on weight.

The survey explored the extent of weight gain as well. About 33% of respondents globally indicated they added between one to 10 pounds (0.5 to 4.75 kilograms).

The study also examined the reasons people believed they gained weight. Almost two thirds (64%) of consumers cited lack of exercise or physical activity as a contributing factor, while 43% of respondents said “eating too much” was also a key factor.

More than half of people globally indicated they wanted to lose weight and these figures had no direct correlation to the ratio of weight gainers. For example, in both Denmark and Sweden 53% of respondents suggested they are trying to lose weight even though those markets registered the lowest uptick in weight-gainers.

On the other end of the spectrum, consumers in India appeared most at ease, with 46% of respondents stating they are fine with their current weight. But that’s still almost half of the population who are looking to shift the pounds.

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Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 505 and 2,251 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in February 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.