The Effects of Quarantine and Corona Virus on Dietary Habits, Physical Activity, and Anthropometric Indices

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medical Sciences and Technologies, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Deputy of Research of National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services.

3 Student Research Committee, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.

4 PhD in Nutritional Sciences, Department of Community Nutrition, Deputy of Health, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Introduction: Numerous changes occurred in economic, social and medical fields following the onset of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including changes in lifestyle and dietary habits. Due to the lack of research on quarantine's effects on lifestyle changes, this study examined dietary habits, physical activity, and individuals' anthropometric indices during quarantine. Methods: During the COVID-19 quarantine period, this cross-sectional study was conducted on adults based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Participants were asked to complete a 10- to 15-minute online survey regarding their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Demographic variables were investigated, as well as surveys related to eating habits, lifestyle behaviors, and the impact of COVID-19 on physical activity and health. SPSS 22.0 was used to analyze all data. The significance level is less than 0.05. Results: A total of 630 participants were enrolled in this study, and their mean age was 38.12 + 3.25 years (range: 19-58). Of those, 537 (85.2%) were women. The average of all anthropometric profiles in general and gender-specific was significantly higher during quarantine than before quarantine (P<0.001 for all). Before quarantine, moderate and high levels of activity were significantly higher than during quarantine, while low levels of activity increased significantly during quarantine (P<0.001 for all). The most consumed food groups include fruits (72.9%) and meat consumption (63.8%). Carbonated drinks (16.7%) and fats and oils (21%) were less consumed than other food groups. The most critical factors affecting BMI during quarantine include: fat-free body weight before quarantine (importance coefficient (IC) = 0.4097), weight before quarantine (IC = 0.2398) and gender (IC = 0.4097). Conclusions: The results showed that quarantine probably increased obesity prevalence, altered diet habits, and decreased physical activity levels among individuals. The findings of this study suggest the importance of expanding health development programs that promote healthy lifestyles in communities during quarantine.

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