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Population Subgroups at Risk of Unhealthy Changes in Food and Beverage Consumption During COVID-19 Lockdowns.

Authors
  • Booth, Leon1, 2
  • Santos, Joseph Alvin3
  • Hoek, Annet C3
  • Webster, Jacqui3
  • Pettigrew, Simone3
  • 1 The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, 1 King St, Newtown, NSW, 2042, Australia. [email protected]. , (Australia)
  • 2 UNSW Medicine and Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia. [email protected]. , (Australia)
  • 3 The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, 1 King St, Newtown, NSW, 2042, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2024
Volume
31
Issue
1
Pages
163–168
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s12529-023-10165-2
PMID: 36879051
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Understanding health behaviour changes during the COVID-19 pandemic can assist in developing strategies to promote healthy lifestyles at such times. The aim of this exploratory study was to examine whether the frequency of consuming unhealthy foods and beverages changed during lockdown and whether certain population subgroups were more likely to make such changes. An online survey was administered to a national sample of 4022 Australian adults (51% female, mean age 48 years). Generalised linear models with generalised estimating equations were used to identify whether demographic characteristics (age, gender, education, presence of children in the household, number of people in the household) and beliefs related to COVID-19 were associated with changes in the frequency of consuming alcohol, sweet snacks, salty snacks, and sugary beverages from pre to during lockdown. Overall, the frequency of consuming the four assessed unhealthy products did not change during lockdown. However, being male and having children at home were consistently associated with unhealthy changes, whereas believing that alcohol or unhealthy diets would exacerbate COVID-19 severity was linked to a decreased frequency of consuming these products respectively. Age, education, and living with more people were also associated with changes in the frequency of consuming some product categories. During lockdown, certain population subgroups appeared to be at increased risk of more frequent consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages. Believing certain consumption habits are linked to adverse health impacts of COVID was found to reduce frequency of consumption of related products, presenting a potential focus for future public health actions. © 2023. The Author(s).

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