Evidence of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health behaviours in the general population is limited. In this retrospective longitudinal study including UK and US participants, we collected diet and lifestyle data pre-pandemic (896,286) and peri-pandemic (291,871) using a mobile health app, and we computed a bidirectional health behaviour disruption index. Disruption of health behaviour was higher in younger, female and socio-economically deprived participants. Loss in body weight was greater in highly disrupted individuals than in those with low disruption. There were large inter-individual changes observed in 46 health and diet behaviours measured peri-pandemic compared with pre-pandemic, but no mean change in the total population. Individuals most adherent to less healthy pre-pandemic health behaviours improved their diet quality and weight compared with those reporting healthier pre-pandemic behaviours, irrespective of relative deprivation; therefore, for a proportion of the population, the pandemic may have provided an impetus to improve health behaviours. Public policies to tackle health inequalities widened by the pandemic should continue to prioritize diet and physical activity for all, as well as more targeted approaches to support younger females and those living in economically deprived areas.