The UK Lockdown Diet Report: Brits Struggling As They Pile o

|May 15|magazine12 min read

New research finds that almost half of Brits have put weight on since lockdown began

The UK Lockdown Diet Report reveals a rise in comfort eating and alcohol consumption 

The millennial generation is of greatest concern with 59% seeing considerable weight gain

Awareness still lacking, with 30% unaware of the risks associated with obesity and COVID-19

LONDON, May 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A new report can reveal that almost half of Brits (47%) say they have put on weight since the start of lockdown.

The UK Lockdown Diet Report by The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan has revealed a troubling trend with increased alcohol intake (35%), comfort eating (24%) and lack of exercise (17%) being key factors behind the weight gain, as people have socially distanced from everything but the fridge and food cupboards.

The report shows more than half (53%) of Brits stockpiled foods like pasta, chocolate and crisps, with only 13 per cent stockpiling frozen fruits and vegetables, which are known to contain essential nutrients.

The diets of millennials have been most affected, with 59 per cent of respondents saying they have gained weight during lockdown, and 16% of all questioned putting on five pounds or more.

Despite the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak instigating wider conversations around the nation's health and the importance of a balanced lifestyle, 30 per cent of Brits are still unaware of the risks associated with obesity and COVID-19, which have been recognised in recent research by Edinburgh University and Imperial College London.  

However, the research shows that Brits are already planning to reduce their weight gain, with 30 per cent intending to take immediate action – by either increasing their exercise (45%), changing their current eating habits (41%) and even reducing their alcohol intake (21%).

And while lockdown is causing lots of Brits to turn to food for comfort, its implications on our health is not going unnoticed. 48% of people say their overall attitude towards their health has been affected by the outbreak, with many previously taking their health for granted or are now planning to make considerable changes to their lifestyle as a result.  

From anxiety to boredom, the top 10 reasons dieters have seen a weight gain during lockdown are:

  1. Comfort eating
  2. Drinking more alcohol
  3. Exercising less
  4. Eating foods they wouldn't normally consume
  5. Being bored
  6. Lack of routine
  7. Feeling stressed or anxious
  8. Not being able to go to the gym
  9. Not being able to maintain a weight loss plan as easily
  10. A lack of contact with others

Experts are warning that Brits are on a slippery slope which could lead to many experiencing significant weight gain once lockdown, as we know it now, is eventually lifted.

Jane DeVille-Almond, chair of The British Obesity Society said:

"Recent evidence has highlighted the added risk of complications from Covid-19 for those carrying excess weight but still people are piling on the pounds during lockdown. It's not surprising, many of us turn to food and drink when we are anxious, stressed or simply bored.

"However, in many ways there has never been a better time to think about changing our lifestyle, we have had the time to eat better, plan our meals better and exercise more.

"There is no magic pill for gaining a healthier weight, but it does take effort and commitment.

"If you are concerned about your weight don't wait for lockdown to finish before you start making changes as that's simply another excuse for never getting started." 

For more information about the British Obesity Society, please visit

* Research carried out through OnePoll in April 2020 of 2,000 UK adults.

Notes to editors

  • The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan's roots can be traced back to the 1960s, when biochemist Dr Alan Howard started to research the perfect diet. This resulted in the launch of the Cambridge Diet in 1984.
  • In 2009 the Cambridge Diet was rebranded to Cambridge Weight Plan. The business started its Employee Ownership journey in 2010.
    Today, it is a passionate and profitable group of people who provide support, flexible weight loss plans, products and business opportunities that help other people achieve their goals. Whatever those goals may be. The company won the Employee Owned Business of the Year category at the 2019 Employee Ownership Awards.
  • Cambridge Weight Plan undertook a major rebrand in 2018, becoming The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, and invested in a multi-million pound integrated campaign which sat across cinema, TV, social, digital and print.
  • In the UK, the company sells and markets The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan brand through independent Cambridge Weight Plan consultants. In April 2020 there were 6,500 Consultants across the country offering slimmers one-to-one support to help guide them through their weight loss and into weight maintenance.
  • The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan's meal replacement programme (MRP) uses formula food soups, shakes, bars and other foods to replace conventional foods, thus giving a lower dietary energy intake than on a conventional reducing diet. Cambridge Weight Plan MRPs are nutritionally balanced, providing all protein, essential fat, vitamins and minerals needed.
  • The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan has received a number of accolades for its commitment to employees, attaining new generation six Investors in People (IIP) Silver Award, becoming a Real Living Wage responsible employer and receiving a RoSPA Gold Award for health and safety management to name a few.
  • Worldwide, The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan is sold through an extensive distributor network and its products are exported to more than 30 countries.