Eating habits and lifestyle during covid-19 lockdown in the united arab emirates: A cross-sectional study

Leila Cheikh Ismail, Tareq M. Osaili, Maysm N. Mohamad, Amina Al Marzouqi, Amjad H. Jarrar, Dima O.Abu Jamous, Emmanuella Magriplis, Habiba I. Ali, Haleama Al Sabbah, Hayder Hasan, Latifa M.R. Almarzooqi, Lily Stojanovska, Mona Hashim, Reyad R.Shaker Obaid, Sheima T. Saleh, Ayesha S.Al Dhaheri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus disease is still spreading in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with subsequent lockdowns and social distancing measures being enforced by the government. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of the lockdown on eating habits and lifestyle behaviors among residents of the UAE. A cross-sectional study among adults in the UAE was conducted using an online questionnaire between April and May 2020. A total of 1012 subjects participated in the study. During the pandemic, 31% reported weight gain and 72.2% had less than eight cups of water per day. Furthermore, the dietary habits of the participants were distanced from the Mediterranean diet principles and closer to “unhealthy” dietary patterns. Moreover, 38.5% did not engage in physical activity and 36.2% spent over five hours per day on screens for entertainment. A significantly higher percentage of participants reported physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, irritability, and tension “all the time” during the pandemic compared to before the pandemic (p < 0.001). Sleep disturbances were prevalent among 60.8% of the participants during the pandemic. Although lockdowns are an important safety measure to protect public health, results indicate that they might cause a variety of lifestyle changes, physical inactivity, and psychological problems among adults in the UAE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3314
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Eating habits
  • Lifestyle behaviors
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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