Lifestyle Changes and Body Mass Index during COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown: An Italian Online-Survey

Silvia Maffoni, Silvia Brazzo, Rachele De Giuseppe, Ginevra Biino, Ilaria Vietti, Cristina Pallavicini, Hellas Cena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a period of contingency measures, including total or partial lockdowns all over the world leading to several changes in lifestyle/eating behaviours. This retrospective cohort study aimed at investigating Italian adult population lifestyle changes during COVID-19 pandemic "Phase 1" lockdown (8 March-4 May 2020) and discriminate between positive and negative changes and BMI (body mass index) variations (ΔBMI).

METHODS: A multiple-choice web-form survey was used to collect retrospective data regarding lifestyle/eating behaviours during "Phase 1" in the Italian adult population. According to changes in lifestyle/eating behaviours, the sample was divided into three classes of changes: "negative change", "no change", "positive change". For each class, correlations with ΔBMI were investigated.

RESULTS: Data were collected from 1304 subjects (973F/331M). Mean ΔBMI differed significantly (p < 0.001) between classes, and was significantly related to water intake, alcohol consumption, physical activity, frequency of "craving or snacking between meals", dessert/sweets consumption at lunch.

CONCLUSIONS: During "Phase 1", many people faced several negative changes in lifestyle/eating behaviours with potential negative impact on health. These findings highlight that pandemic exacerbates nutritional issues and most efforts need to be done to provide nutrition counselling and public health services to support general population needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 29 2021


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • COVID-19/complications
  • Child
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Diet/psychology
  • Drinking
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy/epidemiology
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


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