Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Diet Behaviour Among UK Adults

January 13, 2022

Dicken SJ, Mitchell JJ, Le Vay JN, et al.

Frontiers in Nutrition

This analysis used data from the longitudinal HEBECO (Health Behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic) study to explore associations between pandemic-related impacts and dietary behavior in the UK. The study surveyed (through self-report) participants aged 18+ regarding their eating habits during various times throughout 2020 compared to pre-pandemic habits as the baseline. Results show a correlation between increased unhealthy eating (eating snacks and meals high in fat, salt, and sugar; low fruit and vegetable intake) and pandemic restrictions (i.e. shelter-in-place orders, shop closures, etc.) with a decrease during moments of relative ease. On average, female gender, higher BMI, self-reported lower quality of life, reduced physical activity, and general adverse effects from the pandemic were associated with changes toward unhealthy eating, which brings concern for the long-term impacts on health within these groups.

Dicken SJ, Mitchell JJ, Le Vay JN, et al. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diet behaviour among UK adults: A longitudinal analysis of the HEBECO study. Front Nutr. 2022; 8: 788043. doi:10.3389/fnut.2021.788043