One in five carries more than two extra corona kilos

January 14th 2021

UAntwerp’s Big Corona Study shows that most travellers comply with quarantine rules 

The corona crisis certainly has an impact on many people’s weight. This is evident from the latest results of UAntwerp’s Big Corona Study. The questionnaire also shows that almost 8 out of 10 people returning from a red zone comply with the mandatory quarantine rule.  

Just under 20,000 people took part in the Big Corona Study on Tuesday. This large-scale questionnaire, an initiative of the UAntwerp, in cooperation with UHasselt, KU Leuven, ULB and supported by a financial boost from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), saw its 28th edition on Tuesday.  

Some interesting findings: 

  • One in three respondents said that their weight had changed by more than two kilos in the past year: 15% said they lost weight, 22% said they carry extra corona kilos. Participants with financial struggles saw their weight change the most. People who were obese one year ago (BMI>30) had the biggest fluctuations in weight: 20.6% of them have lost more than 5 kilos in the past year, while 10.9% of these participants have gained 5 kilos or more. Remarkably, the vast majority of people who lost weight indicate that their weight loss has little or nothing to do with the corona crisis. The reverse is true for those who have gained weight: about three quarters say it has a lot or everything to do with the epidemic.  

  • The Big Corona Study also polls bi-weekly on why people had to take a corona test. Over the past fourteen days, 17.7% of respondents got tested because they were returning from a red or orange zone. 29% got tested because they had symptoms; 20% got tested for medical tests not related to corona.  

  • 78% of people returning from a red or orange zones (who had been tested) said they had complied with the mandatory quarantine rule. 20% say they have done so with one exception. Only 2% did not do this at all.   

  • Vaccination willingness is still on the rise. At the end of December, 82% said they would definitely or probably get vaccinated. That is 84% this week. Among those in doubt, the number of people questioning the safety of the vaccines is falling, but a little more people have ‘cold feet’ and want to wait until enough other people have been vaccinated.  

  • 82% of respondents promise to closely respect the measures even after receiving the first dose of the vaccine. This willingness increases with age and is highest among those over 65. After the second dose, only 66% are willing to respect the measures.