Body weight, dietary intake, and health risk factors pre-COVID and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Aniema Nzesi, Liza Roychowdhury, Mary Lou De Jesus, Avery Brown, Allan Geliebter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to assess changes in body weight, body fat, food intake, and clinical risk factors during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic (COVID group) vs. the pre-COVID period (pre-COVID group). Clinical measurements were collected and Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQs) were administered at two time points for each group (211 days ± 114 SD). For the pre-COVID group, the data were collected before February 20, 2020. For the COVID group, the data were collected either before and after February 20, 2020, or both between February 20, 2020 and April 1, 2021, excluding a 6.5-month pandemic-related pause of hospital visits. Increases in the following outcome measures were seen in the COVID group relative to the preCOVID group: body weight (t = 3.40, p = 0.004), body fat mass (t = 2.29, p = 0.024), diastolic blood pressure (BP) (t = 2.10, p = 0.039), total cholesterol (t = 1.81, p = 0.074, marginal), and fat/oil intake (t = 2.44, p = 0.017). In contrast, there were decreases in fruit intake (t = −1.88, p = 0.064, marginal) in the COVID group compared to the preCOVID group. The COVID period relative to pre-COVID was associated with unfavorable changes in body weight and composition, food intake, and health risk factors. This appears to be the first report of in-person direct measures of changes in body weight and risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106182
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Diet
  • Food intake
  • Fruit and vegetable intake
  • Health risk factors
  • Weight


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