June 15, 2020 at 12:01 am ET
More Than One in Three Americans Have Joined the ‘Quarantine 15’ Club During the Pandemic
17% said they’ve lost weight while sheltering in place, while 39% saw no change
Some good news for gyms and diet programs, albeit bad news for the country’s waistlines overall: Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults said they’ve gained weight since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Seventeen percent of respondents in the June 9-11 survey said they’ve lost weight while obeying stay-at-home orders, while 39 percent reported that their weight hadn’t changed during that time and 9 percent offered no opinion. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Stuck at home, many are choosing to fill their bored hours with more food and alcohol, with 28 percent of adults in an April poll saying they’re eating more during the pandemic, and 16 percent saying they’re imbibing more. Millennials were the most likely to say their eating and drinking habits have become more pronounced.
The new survey quantifying who has gained the “Quarantine 15” might appear to benefit fitness clubs and gyms looking to welcome back members as states enter new phases of reopening for business. But these businesses shouldn’t expect a rush of eager exercisers: Separate polling shows that just 21 percent of the public feels safe going to a gym or an exercise class right now.