Lifestyle and Dietary Patterns during the COVID-19 Lockdown in Bahrain: A Web-Based Cross-Sectional Study

Jamil Ahmed, Aseel AlSaleh, Amer J. Almarabheh, Leila Cheikh Ismail, Aysha A.M. Almuqahwi, Hussa W.A. AlOmer, Ibrahim M. AlAlhareth, Sabiha J.M. Albader, Saad S. Alhajeri, Ayesha S. Al Dhaheri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Lifestyle factors such as dietary habits, perceived weight, sleep, and physical activity worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this study, we aimed to understand the impact of COVID-19 on these lifestyle factors in Bahrain. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1005 adult Bahrainis. Data were collected online using a structured and validated questionnaire for the assessment of eating habits, physical activity, and lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were snowballed through those who agreed to answer the online questionnaire. There was a higher consumption of fast food, and a higher dependence on takeaways during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 63.5% of the participants consumed >4 meals per day, compared to 36.5% before the COVID-19. About 30% reported consumption of sugar sweetened beverages from two to three times a day. Weight loss was predominantly observed in persons exercising 1–3 times a week. The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was also high, with about 19% reporting drinking sweet beverages once every day, 10.6% from two to three times a day, and 40.4% from one to four times a week. A higher proportion of the participants reported poor sleep quality during the pandemic (31.2%) compared to before (12.2%), and 39.7% of the participants reported feeling lazy. Screen time use also doubled during the pandemic, with participants spending more than five hours per day on screens for entertainment, which went from 22.4% before to 51.9% during the pandemic. The lifestyle and dietary habits changed drastically for our study participants during the pandemic. The increased reliance on processed fast food instead of healthier options is a challenge to be tackled in any future pandemic situation. Future research needs to focus on strategies to promote healthier lifestyle modifications during situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2543
JournalNutrients
Volume15
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • dietary patterns
  • lifestyle
  • physical activity
  • sleep patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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