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Article

Towards an In-Depth Understanding of Physical Activity and Eating Behaviours during COVID-19 Social Confinement: A Combined Approach from a Portuguese National Survey

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Programa Nacional para a Promoção da Atividade Física, Direção-Geral da Saúde, 1049 Lisboa, Portugal
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CIDEFES, Faculdade de Educação Física e Desporto, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, 1749 Lisboa, Portugal
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Programa Nacional para a Promoção da Alimentação Saudável, Direção-Geral da Saúde, 1049 Lisboa, Portugal
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Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentação da Universidade do Porto, 4150 Porto, Portugal
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Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, 4200 Porto, Portugal
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Laboratory for Integrative and Translational Research in Population Health (ITR), 4050 Porto, Portugal
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CIPER, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, 1495 Lisboa, Portugal
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Católica Research Centre for Psychological, Family and Social Wellbeing, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, 1649 Lisbon, Portugal
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EPIUnit-Instituto de Saúde Pública, Universidade do Porto, 4050 Porto, Portugal
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Northern Region Health Administration, 4000 Porto, Portugal
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Divisão de Literacia, Saúde e Bem-Estar, Direção-Geral da Saúde, 1049 Lisboa, Portugal
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Direção-Geral da Saúde, 1049 Lisboa, Portugal
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2685; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082685
Received: 17 June 2021 / Revised: 15 July 2021 / Accepted: 28 July 2021 / Published: 2 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
Rapid worldwide decreases in physical activity (PA), an increase in sedentary behaviour (SB) and poorer dietary patterns have been reported during COVID-19 confinement periods. However, as national variability has been observed, this study sought to describe PA, SB and eating patterns, and to explore their gender as well as other socio-demographic correlates and how they interrelate in a representative sample of Portuguese adults during the COVID-19 first mandatory social confinement. The survey was applied online and by telephone to 5856 adults (mean age = 45.8 years; 42.6% women). The majority reported high (46.0%) or moderate (20.5%) PA levels. Men, younger participants, those with higher education levels and a favourable perception of their financial situation reported higher PA levels, with the opposite pattern for SB. Physical fitness activities and household chores were more reported by women, with more strength training and running activities reported by men. Regarding eating behaviours, 45.1% reported changes, positive (58%) and negative (42%), with 18.2% reporting increases in consumption of fruit, vegetables, and fish and other seafood consumption, while 10.8% (most with lower educational level and less comfortable with their income) reported an increase in consumption of ready-to-eat meals, soft drinks, savoury snacks, and take-away and delivered meals. Two clusters—a health-enhancing vs. risky pattern—emerged through multiple correspondence analysis characterized by co-occurrence of high vs. low PA levels, positive vs. negative eating changes, awareness or not of the COVID-19 PA and dietary recommendations, perceived financial situation, higher vs. lower educational level and time in social confinement. In conclusion, while in social confinement, both positive and negative PA and eating behaviours and trends were displayed, highlighting the role of key sociodemographic correlates contributing to healthy vs. risky patterns. Results may inform future health interventions and policies to be more targeted to those at risk, and also advocate the promotion of PA and healthy eating in an integrated fashion. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; sedentary behaviour; eating behaviour; socio-demographic correlates; health and risk patterns; COVID-19 social confinement physical activity; sedentary behaviour; eating behaviour; socio-demographic correlates; health and risk patterns; COVID-19 social confinement
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MDPI and ACS Style

Silva, M.N.; Gregório, M.J.; Santos, R.; Marques, A.; Rodrigues, B.; Godinho, C.; Silva, C.S.; Mendes, R.; Graça, P.; Arriaga, M.; Freitas, G. Towards an In-Depth Understanding of Physical Activity and Eating Behaviours during COVID-19 Social Confinement: A Combined Approach from a Portuguese National Survey. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2685. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082685

AMA Style

Silva MN, Gregório MJ, Santos R, Marques A, Rodrigues B, Godinho C, Silva CS, Mendes R, Graça P, Arriaga M, Freitas G. Towards an In-Depth Understanding of Physical Activity and Eating Behaviours during COVID-19 Social Confinement: A Combined Approach from a Portuguese National Survey. Nutrients. 2021; 13(8):2685. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082685

Chicago/Turabian Style

Silva, Marlene N., Maria J. Gregório, Rute Santos, Adilson Marques, Bruno Rodrigues, Cristina Godinho, Catarina S. Silva, Romeu Mendes, Pedro Graça, Miguel Arriaga, and Graça Freitas. 2021. "Towards an In-Depth Understanding of Physical Activity and Eating Behaviours during COVID-19 Social Confinement: A Combined Approach from a Portuguese National Survey" Nutrients 13, no. 8: 2685. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082685

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