Changes in Alcohol Consumption, Eating Behaviors, and Body Weight during Quarantine Measures: Analysis of the CoCo-Fakt Study

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Introduction: Public health measures enacted to reduce COVID-19 transmission have affected individuals’ lifestyles, mental health, and psychological well-being. To date, little is known how stay-at-home orders have influenced the eating behaviors, weight development, and alcohol consumption of quarantined persons. The CoCo-Fakt cohort study analyzed these parameters and their association with psychological distress and coping strategies. Methods: An online survey was conducted of all persons who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (infected persons [IP]) between December 12, 2020, and January 6, 2021, as well as their close contacts (contact persons [CP]) registered by the public health department of Cologne. 8,075 of 33,699 individuals were included in the analysis. In addition to demographic data, psychological distress, and coping strategies, information on changes in body weight, eating, and drinking behaviors was collected. Results: IP lost 1.2 ± 4.4 kg during the quarantine period, and CP gained 1.6 ± 4.1 kg. The reasons given by IP for weight change were mainly loss of taste and feeling sick, whereas CP were more likely than IP to eat out of boredom. Higher psychological burden and lower coping strategies were associated with both weight gain and loss. Of the 30.8% of participants who changed their alcohol consumption during the quarantine period, CP in particular drank more alcohol (IP 15.2%; CP 47.7%). Significantly less alcohol was consumed by individuals with higher coping scores. Conclusion: In this short but psychologically stressful period of stay-at-home orders, changes in eating and drinking behavior as well as weight development are evident, mainly in high-risk contacts. To avoid possible long-term sequelae, health authorities should take these findings into account during the quarantine period; in particular, general practitioners should consider these findings during follow-up.
Original languageEnglish
JournalObesity Facts
Volume15
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
ISSN1662-4025
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13.04.2022

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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

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