Fact Check: The Average American Millennial Weight Gain Was 41 Pounds During Pandemic

Fact Check: The Average American Millennial Weight Gain Was 41 Pounds During Pandemic

American Millennial Weight Gain
Fact Check: The Average American Millennial Weight Gain Was 41 Pounds During Pandemic. Photo: Flickr

Everyone is familiar with what has now been dubbed “Quarantine Weight.” People all around the world have packed on the pounds during lockdown. Now a new study has revealed the average American Millennial weight gain is 41 pounds.

According to a recent survey by The American Psychological Association (APA), 61 percent of U.S. adults have experienced “undesired weight changes” since the pandemic began. Of that number, 48 percent of Millennieals said they have gained weight and the average amount of pounds is 41.

Dr. Angela Fitch, vice president of the Obesity Medicine Association, told CBS News the numbers among millennials were “striking.”

“As an obesity medicine specialist… I find it to be alarming, for sure,” Fitch said. “But you can see where it could be the case. I mean, it’s been a very challenging year, on multiple levels.” 

Other findings in the study include: a 29 pound weight gain by American adults overall and a 35 percent weight gain among Black American adults. Essential workers were the second highest group in terms of weight gain at an average 38 pounds and parents were the third highest at an average 36 pounds gained.

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“We have seen a lot of patients of ours that are nurses that express that quite a bit, that they’ve had weight gain, because of the stress and because it’s hard to eat now in the hospital — taking off your mask to drink, to eat, is a challenging situation, so it does make for eating potentially not as healthfully or skipping meals and then eating more in one sitting,” Fitch said. 

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According to experts, the combined weight changes are indicative of the stress Americans have been under and how they’ve been coping.

“We’ve been concerned throughout this pandemic about the level of prolonged stress, exacerbated by the grief, trauma and isolation that Americans are experiencing. This survey reveals a secondary crisis that is likely to have persistent, serious mental and physical health consequences for years to come,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr, PhD, APA’s chief executive officer. “Health and policy leaders must come together quickly to provide additional behavioral health supports as part of any national recovery plan.”