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Impact of staying at home measures during COVID-19 pandemic on the lifestyle of Qatar’s population: Perceived changes in diet, physical activity, and body weight

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submitted on 2023-10-24, 08:27 and posted on 2023-10-24, 11:06 authored by Muna Abed Alah, Sami Abdeen, Vahe Kehyayan, Iheb Bougmiza

Countries worldwide imposed different swift protective measures such as movement restrictions and staying at home measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Despite the benefits gained from such measures in containing the spread of the infection, adverse lifestyle consequences happened. In this study we aimed to assess the impact of staying at home measures imposed during COVID-19 pandemic on dietary behaviors, physical activity, and body weight in Qatar’s population. A population based cross sectional survey was conducted between December 2020 and February 2021 targeting adults ≥18 years. A total of 1408 participants completed the survey in four languages. Concerning the overall diet perception, 27.8%, and 33.2% perceived that their overall diet has become less healthy, or healthier respectively, since the start of staying at home measures. Almost half of all participants reported weight gain. Participants reported increased sitting/reclining time (1.94 h/day mean increase), screen times (2.05 h/day mean increase) with p < 0.001, and decreased exercise time (0.11 h/day mean reduction) with p < 0.001. The ordinal logistic regression analysis showed that the numbers of unhealthy dietary behaviors adopted by participants, and adverse changes in exercise, setting/reclining and screen times were significantly associated with weight gain. The results of this study indicate that peoples in Qatar have experienced adverse lifestyle changes with regard to their diet, physical activity, and body weight. More emphasis should be put on encouraging people to maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors during home confinement measures that might be imposed during any public health crises or any potential future outbreaks.

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Published in: Preventive Medicine Reports
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2021

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Medical Corporation
  • University of Calgary Qatar
  • Primary Health Care Corporation

Geographic coverage