Health Behaviors during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for Obesity

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Obesity is a risk factor for severe complications and death from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Public health efforts to control the pandemic may alter health behaviors related to weight gain, inflammation, and poor cardiometabolic health, exacerbating the prevalence of obesity, poor immune health, and chronic diseases. We reviewed how the pandemic adversely influences many of these behaviors, specifically physical activity, sedentary behaviors, sleep, and dietary intakes, and provided individual level strategies that may be used to mitigate them. At the community level and higher, public health and health care professionals need to advocate for intervention strategies and policy changes that address these behaviors, such as increasing nutrition assistance programs and creating designated areas for recreation and active transportation, to reduce disparities among vulnerable populations. The long-lasting impact of the pandemic on health behaviors, and the possibility of a second COVID-19 wave, emphasize the need for creative and evolving, multi-level approaches to assist individuals in adapting their health behaviors to prevent both chronic and infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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