New research from an online pharmacy specialising in weight-loss supplements suggests that the average Briton is 5lbs heavier than they were this time last year, with “stressful schedules” and “new relationships” being listed as the key reasons behind the weight gain.
A new study has exposed the main factors behind the UK’s weight changes and how the figure on the scales of the average Briton compares to the one shown a mere 12 months ago.
The online survey, conducted by www.UKMedix.com, was a part of the company’s broader look at British waistlines. Year on year, UK Medix noticed that sales of and searches for weight-loss supplements were increasing, so they decided to investigate the issue. 2,817 Britons participated in the survey, all of whom were aged 18 and over.
Initially, participants were asked how often their weight fluctuated during the year, to which the majority, 83 per cent, 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 that resulted in the largest increases in their weight. Christmas (81 per cent) was identified as the worst holiday for weight gain, followed by birthdays (74 percent) and Easter (69 per cent).
Respondents were then asked, “Are you heavier or lighter than this time last year?” to which the majority (71 per cent) 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 their weight gain. The top five factors were as follows:
- Stressful schedule – 72 per cent
- New relationship – 61 per cent
- Hectic social life – 55 per cent
- Having a baby / babies – 39 per cent
- New job – 35 per cent
Of those polled who had put on weight in the last year, the majority (48 per cent) identified that their gain was primarily caused by “unhealthy eating habits”, while 23 per cent 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.”
“While 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.”
Top tips to get out of your slump
We are well into summer now, so you should have that bikini body ready and those abs thoroughly tightened. But sometimes the sunshine isn’t enough to make you want to shed those extra pounds – sometimes you just need to get up and do it, even if you feel like you don’t want to. Here are three top tips to get you out of your slump:
Go for a walk. Seriously. Right now. Put down this magazine and go. We’ll be here when you get back. If you haven’t been active in a while, don’t strain yourself too much. But it is important to increase your heart rate, so walk a bit faster than you normally would.
Hydrate. Not all at once before bed, but drink water continuously through the day. You need at least eight glasses a day to stay hydrated, and dehydration is one of the main causes of fat storage.
Snack swaps. We all know how tempting chocolates and sweets can be, but they are really bad for you. When you feel like snacking on something, have a handful of almonds. Or, if you really have that chocolate craving, try carob instead.