Lifestyle and eating habits before and during COVID-19 quarantine in Brazil

Public Health Nutr. 2022 Jan;25(1):65-75. doi: 10.1017/S136898002100255X. Epub 2021 Jun 10.


Objective: To assess changes in daily habits, food choices and lifestyle of adult Brazilians before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design: This observational study was carried out with Brazilian adults through an online questionnaire 5 months after the social distance measures implementation. The McNemar, McNemar–Bowker and Wilcoxon tests were used to investigate differences before and during the COVID pandemic period, adopting the statistical significance of P < 0·05.

Setting: Brazil.

Participants: Totally, 1368 volunteers aged 18+ years.

Results: The volunteers reported a lower frequency of breakfast, morning and lunch snacks (P < 0·05) and a higher frequency of evening snacks and other meal categories during the pandemic period (P < 0·05). The results showed an increase in the consumption of bakery products, instant meals and fast food, while the consumption of vegetables and fruits decreased (P < 0·005). There was a significant increase in the frequency of consumption of alcoholic beverages (P < 0·001), but a reduction in the dose (P < 0·001), increased frequency of smoking (P = 0·007), an increase in sleep and screen time in hours and decrease in physical activity (P < 0·001).

Conclusions: It was possible to observe an increase in screen time, hours of sleep, smoking and drinking frequency. On the other hand, there was a reduction in the dose of alcoholic beverages but also in the practice of physical activity. Eating habits also changed, reducing the performance of daytime meals and increasing the performance of nighttime meals. The frequency of consumption of instant meals and fast food has increased, while consumption of fruits and vegetables has decreased.

Keywords: Alcohol use; Coronavirus; Food choices; Lockdown; SARS-CoV-2; Smoking.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • COVID-19*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Pandemics
  • Quarantine
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surveys and Questionnaires