Half of Adults Gained Weight in Lockdown

  • By Kim Sung-mo

    May 05, 2021 08:21

    Almost half of all adult Koreans have put on weight in lockdown, a study by the Korean Society for the Study of Obesity suggests.

    Forty-six percent of the 1,000 respondents over 20 said they gained more than 3 kg since the coronavirus epidemic started.

    The main cause of weight gain was more time spent on the couch watching Netflix or YouTube. The proportion of people who said they spend three to six hours a day watching videos increased from 26 percent in January last year to 45 percent this March.

    Twelve percent confessed that they watched Netflix or YouTube for seven to eight hours a day, compared to four percent a year ago. In contrast, the proportion of people who said their viewing time was only one to two hours a day decreased from 42 percent to 29 percent.

    Exercise time declined apace. The proportion who said they get no exercise at all rose from 18 percent to 32 percent over the same period, while those who exercise three or four times a week dwindled from 28 percent to 15 percent and those who exercise more than five times a week from 15 percent to nine percent.

    But while energy consumption decreased, food intake either stayed the same or grew as people munched their way through the day's viewing -- ideal conditions for obesity.

    The proportion who said they gained more than 3 kg was the highest among people in their 30s with 53 percent and 50-somethings with 50 percent. By gender, 51 percent of women and 42 percent of men said they put on weight.

    Quite a number of people do not make enough efforts to take care of their health. Some 22 percent said that they attempted to lose weight by taking some pills or supplements instead of exercising or managing what they eat.

    Kang Jae-heon of the society said, "The epidemic is not likely to end soon, and the fact that a growing number of people are becoming obese and being exposed to various types of illnesses could end up becoming a national problem."

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