The pandemic has hit a lot of us, hard. And the #quarantine15 hit even harder.

While trying to juggle remote work, school, family and the loss of loved ones during a pandemic, the last thing that many of us were focused on was also maintaining a proper diet with everything else that was going on in the world. And a new survey by biotechnology company Gelesis confirmed it. The study reveals that 71 million Americans have gained weight throughout the pandemic.

The pandemic has been the catalyst for physical health issues and emotional ones as well with 71% of Americans admitting that their weight impacts how they feel about their identity, particularly among women and parents. However, as many begin to focus on “new year, new me” the survey also found that, months into the pandemic, Americans are more determined than ever to lose weight and maintain healthy habits.

Loading the player...

“While our survey has found Americans have been motivated to develop healthier habits amidst the pandemic, it has also brought to light how many Americans who want to lose weight continue to struggle,” said Elaine Chiquette, PharmD, Gelesis’ Chief Scientific Officer. “In a year when we’ve all already given up so much, our data shows that people would give up even more if it meant being able to lose weight by the end of the year and they remain hopeful about losing weight and feeling healthy in 2021.”

The most important thing to remember however, is that giving ourselves grace during difficult times, is even more important than the impact. And the pandemic itself also came with a silver lining. Americans were driven to make healthy lifestyle changes during the pandemic, even while many reported they were harder to keep.

“We have found that in 2021 the hopes of Americans outweigh their worries, and millions are ready to kick off the new year and make changes, including losing weight,” said Chiquette.