The pandemic didn't just change the style of jeans people are buying—skinny jeans are out and more comfortable fits are in—but something more fundamental: waist sizes. In an interview with the AP, Levi's CEO Chip Bergh estimates that 25% of customers are in need of a new size on the other side of the pandemic, either bigger or smaller. "The number of people who are in a new size is pretty staggering," he says. "Some people gained weight during the pandemic, and many people lost weight." This applies to both men and women, he adds.
The interview caught the attention of Quartz, which notes that Bergh's comments sync with a small study from March in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers found that among 269 people, lifestyle changes amid the pandemic translated to a weight gain of 1.5 pounds per month. And a survey for the American Psychological Association in February found that 42% of people reported an unwanted weight gain (29 pounds on average), while 18% reported an undesired weight loss (26 pounds on average).