Almost a third of Singaporeans gained weight during pandemic: survey

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): Covid-19 has been a weighty affair in more ways than one, with almost one-third of Singaporeans saying they have piled on the kilos during the pandemic, at an average increase of around 5kg.

And while many would point their fingers at how lifestyles have become more sedentary with many working from home, four in 10 reported that they are exercising more often.

These are among the findings from an online study by marketing research company Ipsos, which looked at how health choices have changed during the pandemic.

A total of 500 respondents, aged between 21 and 74, were interviewed between Oct 23 and Nov 6.

More than half of those surveyed also said they were trying to lose weight but a majority of these -- more than 70 per cent -- added that this was unrelated to gaining weight during the pandemic.

More exercise was the most popular way to slim down, followed by reducing one's food intake and eating healthily without dieting.

However, these Singaporeans were least willing to give up meat and alcohol to lose weight.

Only 10 per cent said that they could abstain from meat and alcohol, while 65 per cent of them could cut down or forgo sugar.

Cheaper healthy food topped the list of 12 possible initiatives that companies and governments could introduce to help people shed the kilos.

The proposal was significantly ahead of others, with nearly half of the respondents opting for it.

This was followed by around 20 per cent hoping to see more green public spaces available for exercise and 15 per cent wishing for healthier ingredients in processed foods.

"When it comes to food, eating out is a common practice for Singaporeans... But healthy options with lower sugar, lower carbohydrates and less processed foods are still limited within a more affordable price range," said Melanie Ng, director of public affairs at Ipsos in Singapore.

"Having access to cheaper healthy foods is likely to make most impact to Singaporeans trying to achieve their health goals." - The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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Singapore , weight gain , pandemic , covid-19 , survey


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