THANKS to banana loaf baking and a need to comfort ourselves during a difficult period it’s fair to say a lot of people have gained a ‘quarantine 15’ during the ongoing pandemic.

In fact, according to research conducted by Slimming World, nearly two-thirds of adults in the UK found it difficult to manage their weight during lockdown.

Results from the survey of 800 UK adults, presented at The European and International Congress on Obesity, suggest difficulties stemmed from increased snacking, not exercising as much as usual, increased anxiety or stress, and not being able to get hold of healthier food. 

It’s a position that Winsford group leader Marsha Allen, who runs a group each Thursday at Trinity Methodist Chich Hall in Wharton, can appreciate. 

“I think it’s only understandable in these uncertain times that we’ve been feeling stressed and for our usual healthy habits like eating well and keeping active to slip a little – I know mine did,” she said.

“What’s important is remembering that we can still do something about it.”

Slimming World began supporting its members virtually in online weekly groups in March when lockdown closed all the organisation’s community groups. 

However, as Marsha points out: “There’s nothing quite like the magic of our real-life groups, though, and research of our members during lockdown has shown that while our members have loved attending their virtual groups they’ve missed the motivational power and accountability of meeting in person each week.”

Having reopened meetings in August concerns were raised around the recent tighter restrictions on social activities but Marsha is pleased these don’t currently affect her group’s meetups. 

And since she’s been able to welcome back in person again she’s noticed a massive difference, not only in terms of weight loss but also mental wellbeing.

She said: “In just one week, the weight losses alone have shown how much our members love being together in a group and how powerful that experience is to achieving such great results.

“Since we opened up our meetings again, my morning group has so far lost a total of 202lb and the evening groups have lost 237lb.

One such member is Chrissy Buckley who has lost two stone, 8lb and celebrated being at ‘target’ for 10 years on her first week back with the group.

She said: “It’s just so good to be back and to see all my fellow members we have missed it so much during lockdown.”

For more information, contact on Marsha 07946 117484 or visit