Leading Factors for Weight Gain during COVID-19 Lockdown in a Spanish Population: A Cross-Sectional Study.


Sánchez E(1), Lecube A(1)(2), Bellido D(3), Monereo S(4), Malagón MM(5)(6), Tinahones FJ(6)(7), On Behalf Of The Spanish Society For The Study Of Obesity.
Author information:
(1)Endocrinology and Nutrition Department, University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova, Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolism Research Group
(ODIM), IRBLleida, University of Lleida, 25198 Lleida, Spain.
(2)Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas
(CIBERDEM), Instituto de Salud Carlos III
(ISCIII), 28029 Madrid, Spain.
(3)Endocrinology and Nutrition Department, Ferrol University Hospital Complex
(CHUF), 15405 A Coruña, Spain.
(4)Endocrinology and Nutrition Department, Gregorio Marañón University General Hospital, 28007 Madrid, Spain.
(5)Department Cell Biology, Physiology, and Immunology, IMIBIC/University of Cordoba
(UCO)/Reina Sofia University Hospital
(HURS), 14004 Cordoba, Spain.
(6)Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología Obesidad y Nutrición
(CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III
(ISCIII), 28029 Madrid, Spain.
(7)Endocrinology and Nutrition Department, Virgen de la Victoria University Hospital, Institute of Biomedical Research of Malaga
(IBIMA), University of Malaga, 29010 Málaga, Spain.


The increase in sedentary behaviors during the COVID-19-induced lockdown may have led to a significant weight gain. To investigate this hypothesis, a representative sample of the Spanish adult population comprising 1000 subjects was enrolled in a cross-sectional study between 26 May and 10 June 2020. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted consisting of 29 questions on the topic of lifestyle habits during the lockdown. The cohort comprised 51.5% women and 51% overweight or obese subjects and had a mean age of 50 ± 18 years. Of the respondents, 44.5% self-reported weight gain during the lockdown; of these, 58.0% were women, 69.9% had previous excess weight, 44.7% lived with a relative who also gained weight, and 73.5 experienced increased appetite. Further, an increased consumption of energy-dense products was found relative to respondents who did not gain weight (p ≤ 0.016 for all). Additionally, respondents were unaware that obesity is a poor prognostic factor for COVID-19 infection, lived in smaller flats, and had a lower level of education and lower monthly income. The factors independently associated with weight gain were female gender, previous overweight or obesity, lack of food care, increased appetite, and increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, alcoholic beverages, and snacks (p ≤ 0.023 for all). Should another lockdown be mandated, extra caution is warranted to prevent weight gain.