Self-Reported Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Nutrition and Physical Activity Behaviour in Dutch Older Adults Living Independently

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Abstract

The aim was to explore the self-reported impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nutrition and physical activity behaviour in Dutch older adults and to identify subgroups most susceptible to this impact. Participants (N = 1119, aged 62-98 y, 52.8% female) of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam living independently completed a COVID-19 questionnaire. Questions on diagnosis, quarantine and hospitalization were asked, as well as impact of the pandemic on ten nutrition and physical activity behaviours. Associations of pre-COVID-19 assessed characteristics (age, sex, region, household composition, self-rated health, BMI, physical activity, functional limitations) with reported impact were tested using logistic regression analyses. About half of the sample (48.3-54.3%) reported a decrease in physical activity and exercise due to the pandemic. An impact on nutritional behaviour predisposing to overnutrition (e.g., snacking more) was reported by 20.3-32.4%. In contrast, 6.9-15.1% reported an impact on behaviour predisposing to undernutrition (e.g., skipping warm meals). Those who had been in quarantine (n = 123) more often reported a negative impact. Subgroups with higher risk of impact could be identified. This study shows a negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nutrition and physical activity behaviour of many older adults, which may increase their risk of malnutrition, frailty, sarcopenia and disability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3708
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalNutrients
Volume12
Issue number12
Early online date30 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Special Issue: Malnutrition in Older Adults and COVID-19).

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