The average child has gained 6lbs since lockdown began, suggests study

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A new survey taken by totalshape.com has revealed that the average child in the UK has gained 6lbs since lockdown began.

When asked, two thirds (62%) of parents were concerned about their child’s recent weight gain, with the majority putting the cause down to a lack of regular exercise (49%) or a change in diet (29%).

The West Midlands was revealed as the region that has experienced the most child weight gain, followed by Wales and Greater London.

A survey of 2,140 UK parents has revealed that the average child has gained 6lbs since the beginning of lockdown.

The survey, which was conducted by health and fitness site  Total Shape, discovered the average UK child (under 16) has gained 6lbs during lockdown, with 11% of children gaining more than 10lbs since March.

The research was then categorized by region, to reveal that the West Midlands has experienced the most child weight gain, followed by Wales and Greater London.

The five UK regions that have experienced the most weight gain among children in lockdown are:

  1. West Midlands +7.9lbs
  2. Wales +7.6lbs
  3. Greater London +7.5lbs
  4. North East +6.8lbs
  5. Scotland +6.6lbs

Sixty-two percent of parents also admitted that they are worried about their child’s recent weight gain.

The majority of parents believe a reduction in daily exercise is the main cause of this weight gain (49%), followed by a change in diet (29%).

To view the full survey results and guide visit here.

When parents were asked the reasons why their children could be exercising less, the most popular reason was by simply not going to school (65%), where children are active throughout the week with regular PE classes, outdoor play and afterschool clubs and sports.

This was followed by a lack of time to spend exercising with their children (41%) and a lack of space at home for activities (34%).

After seeing these results, Total Shape teamed up with its personal trainers to create a guide on approaching healthy eating and exercise with children.

The guide contains five simple steps for encouraging children to get active and eat a more balanced diet, as well as a series of easy to follow exercises that can all be completed in the home by the whole family.

In 2018-19, 24% of reception children and 34% of year six children were classed as overweight.

The highest child obesity rates were seen in the most deprived 10% of the population – more than twice that of the least deprived population.

Less than half of UK children get the recommended average of at least 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day.

Total Shape provides informative guides about different types of supplements, the best foods to eat for different fitness goals and how to develop an effective workout routine with the best equipment.

Tyler Sellers, fitness coach at Total Shape, said: “While we were seeing studies about how lockdown had been affecting the diets and exercise of adults, we hadn’t seen much about the impact it was having on children. It was quite alarming to see that the majority of parents surveyed were concerned about their child’s recent weight gain.

“We knew that we could help and even though our website is primarily targeted at adults, exercise can be enjoyed by all ages, and it is amazing how just a few simple changes to a daily routine can have a big impact on fitness levels and wellbeing for the whole family.

“It’s also important that parents implement a nutritious diet, that ensures their children are getting all of the vital nutrients such as vitamins and protein as they grow. I know a lot of parents have success with a daily multivitamin, especially if their child isn’t a fan of fruit and veg!”



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