Italians, French Put On An Extra Two Kilos During Lockdown

The Italians and the French, both renowned for their love of good food, have gained weight since the imposition of the coronavirus lockdown, the British newspaper Daily Telegraph reports.

Italians’ feasts on pasta, pizza and Peroni have taken their toll, with Italians emerging from two months of lockdown an average 2 kg (4.4 pounds) heavier. Their cousins across the Alps have also piled on the pounds, with the average French person gaining 2.5 kg (5.5 pounds) during the time of severe restriction on movement outside the home.

With people exercising a great deal less and eating more, out of boredom — or as an important source of comfort — the weight gain was inevitable, says the paper, which quotes a study by Coldiretti, Italy’s national food and farmers’ association, for their stats on that nation.

“There was a real boom in so-called comfort food rich in calories, full of sugars, fats and carbohydrates,” the organization said.

Italians bought 14 percent more bread, breadsticks and crackers, seven percent more pasta and gnocchi, 13 percent more desserts and a whopping 38 percent more pizza compared to the same period last year. With a lot more time to kill at home, and without being able to imbibe at their local bar or restaurant, they also drank more alcohol.

In France, the average person has put on 2.5 kg under lockdown, with the main culprit for the extra love handles singled out as the extended evening aperitif, Daily Telegraph reports.

According to the study by Darwin Nutrition, some 42 percent of French subjects interviewed said they had “more (aperitifs) than before” – including drinks along with a range of snacks from saucisson to vol-au-vent.

Confinement has led to a great increase in Gallic grazing, the study found. “More time at home means more time preparing meals and more opportunities to nibble,” Quentin Molinié, of Darwin Nutrition, a healthy eating site, told Le Parisien.

“Putting on weight isn’t a problem in itself and was predictable given the context of stress and limited physical effort,” he explained.

Those most likely to have put on the extra poundage were men from the Paris region and women in rural areas.