J Obes Metab Syndr.  2022 Mar;31(1):51-60. 10.7570/jomes21087.

Factors Associated with Body Weight Gain among Korean Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Family Medicine, Uijeongbu Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University School of Medicine, Uijeongbu, Korea
  • 3Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea
  • 4Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Guri, Korea
  • 5Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon, Korea
  • 6Department of Internal Medicine, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 7Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Daejeon Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea
  • 8Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, International St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic Kwandong University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea
  • 9Department of Health and Exercise Management, Tongwon University, Gwangju, Korea
  • 10Department of Clinical Nutrition Team, Yeouido St. Mary’s Hospital, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Background
Obesity is of grave concern as a comorbidity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We examined the factors associated with weight gain among Korean adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods
We conducted an online survey of 1,000 adults (515 men and 485 women aged 20–59 years) in March 2021. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the factors associated with weight gain. The analysis was adjusted for sex, age, region, depressive mood, anxiety, eating out, late-night meals, alcohol consumption, exercise, sleep disturbance, meal pattern, subjective body image, comorbidities, marital status, living alone, and income.
Results
After adjusting for confounding variables, the odds for weight gain increased in the group aged 20–34 years compared with the group aged 50–59 years (1.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01–3.32). Women were more associated with the risk of weight gain compared with men. The odds for weight gain increased in the lack of exercise group compared with the exercise group (4.89; 95% CI, 3.09–7.88). The odds for weight gain increased in the eating-out and late-night meal groups compared with that in the groups not eating out and not having late-night meals. Individuals watching a screen for 3–6 hr/day were more associated with the risk of weight gain compared with those who rarely watched a screen. The odds for weight gain increased in participants who considered themselves obese compared with those who did not consider themselves obese.
Conclusion
A healthy diet and regular physical activity tend to be the best approach to reduce obesity, a risk factor for COVID-19.

Keyword

COVID-19; Weight gain; Feeding behavior; Sedentary behavior; Weight perception
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