CHARLOTTE, N.C -- Some deem it the COVID-15 or “quarantine pounds.”

What You Need To Know

  • A recent survey found that 61% of people reported undesirable weight changes in the last year.

  • 42% gained an average of 29 pounds (median of 15 pounds.)

  • The survey included 3,013 adults age 18+ who reside in the U.S.

Whatever it’s called, a year-long survey found many Americans gained weight. During the height of the pandemic, Carl May found himself at home more often. There wasn’t much to do, and his couch became his best friend.

“Get up in the morning, have a little breakfast, I am here,” May says. “Get up for a couple of hours, walk around, and I’m back here.”

May is 72 years old and retired. When he was home, it was very tempting to walk across the hallway and enter the kitchen.

“These are my favorites,” May says as he points to some chips. “Well they were my favorites, but now I am having to cut back on them.”

He is trying to cut back because his at-home routine took a toll on his waistline. He says he gained 30 pounds.

“It was tough to admit it, but on the road to recovery you have to admit where you are so you can start seeing progress,” May says.

May is not alone. In the last year, 42% of Americans reported gaining an average of 29 pounds. It’s an unhealthy reality that could lead to serious problems down the road. May’s family and grandchildren inspired him to start shedding the weight.

“I want to make sure when they get older they still have grandma and grandpa with them,” May says.

He started buying more vegetables, walking several times a week, and got a membership at the YMCA in Charlotte. He says in the last few weeks he has lost four pounds.

“I am proud to say that because it was a hard four pounds,” May says.

He knows he still has a long way to go, but he says half the battle is just showing up.

“I have come some days, and I didn't feel like it, but I went through my routine,” May says. “After the workout, I said this is great.”