Weight can definitely creep up on us, we don't even notice it happening most of the time, so it doesn't come as a surprise to find that the average Briton is 5lbs heavier than they were this time last year.
New research has revealed that the pounds have crept on and stressful schedules and new relationships are being cited as the reason to the weight gain.
The survey was conducted online by www.UKMedix.com, as part of the company’s wider research into annual weight change and management, after the team noticed a substantial increase in searches for weight loss supplements year on year.
Initially, participants were asked how often their weight fluctuated during the year, to which 83%, confirmed that their weight changed ‘regularly’. In order to identify any trends in terms of the periods of highest weight fluctuation, the participants were asked to select all occasions which resulted in the largest increases in their weight. ‘Christmas’ was identified as the worst holiday for weight gain, followed by ‘birthdays’ and ‘Easter’.
Respondents were then asked, ‘Are you heavier or lighter than this time last year?’ to which the majority, 71%, claimed that their weight had increased since 12 months ago. Participants were required to state the change in their weight. The team used the figures provided to calculate the average weight change, revealing that the average Briton is 5lbs heavier now than they were this time last year.
In order to assess the reasons behind this increase, the participants with an overall weight gain during the last year were asked what factors had contributed to them becoming heavier on the scales. Respondents had the opportunity to select all factors that they felt played a part in the change to their waistlines. The top five factors blamed for the participants’ weight gain were as follows:
- Stressful schedule – 72%
- New relationship - 61%
- Hectic social life – 55%
- Having a baby / babies – 39%
- New job – 35%
Of those polled who had put on weight in the last year, the majority, 48%, identified that their gain was primarily caused by ‘unhealthy eating habits’, whilst 23% admitted it was down to them being ‘less active’.
Sarah Bailey of UKMedix.com commented on the findings:
“Unfortunately, we have already been warned that we are getting heavier year on year, so the fact that we are gaining weight is no surprise. However, 5lbs is quite a big gain – almost half a stone! If we keep this up every year, we will very quickly see our weight spiral out of control, which could result in health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and mobility restrictions. All of these things can have a massive impact on our quality of life. That is a very scary thought.
“Whilst stressful schedules and having babies are understandable reasons for weight gain, it’s important to keep things under control and get back on track before a gain gets out of hand. Not only is it critical to self-confidence and health, it’s also important to set a good example for family and friends.”