Preventive measures adopted for COVID-19 have brought about significant changes in lifestyle and have affected dietary habits worldwide.
To examine the factors relating to dietary changes among Japanese adults since the spread of COVID-19.
Study Design, Settings, Participants
A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted via the internet in November 2020. All 6,000 participants, comprising 3,044 male and 2,956 female adults, aged 20–64 years, who registered with a research company received the questionnaire on email.
The questionnaire included items on demographic characteristics; socioeconomic factors; past medical history; COVID-19 infection situation of their family and neighbors; fear of COVID-19; and lifestyle habits and healthy changes in dietary habits since the spread of COVID-19. The participants were given multiple choices in answers: changed to healthier; changed to unhealthier; and no-change. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine factors associated with dietary changes.
Of the participants, 1,215 (20.3%) answered that their dietary habits became healthier, 491 (8.2%) answered as unhealthy, while a majority of them (4,294; 71.6%), said their dietary habits remained unchanged. The results of the multinomial logistic regression analysis with unchanged as the reference indicated that healthier and unhealthier dietary change were negatively associated with age (OR [95% CI]: 0.89[0.84-0.95], 0.89 [0.81-0.97]) and positively associated with the past medical history of dyslipidemia (1.44 [1.11-1.86], 1.74 [1.23-2.46]) and fear of COVID-19 (1.05 [1.04-1.07], 1.02 [1.01-1.04]). Unhealthy change was positively associated with living alone, COVID-19 infection of colleagues, stress, and BMI; while annual household income, COVID-19 infection of oneself and friends, health literacy, frequency of exercise, and smoking were positively associated with healthier dietary changes.
This study suggested that the factors determining healthy and unhealthy dietary change since the spread of COVID-19 were age, COVID-19 infection, and fear of COVID-19.
Health, Labour and Welfare Policy Research Grants, Special Research (Grant Number JP 20CA2040).