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

Document Type : Research Paper


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.


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


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