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Article

Changes in Dietary Intake Patterns and Weight Status during the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Cross-Sectional Study Focusing on Young Adults in Malaysia

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Department of Healthcare Professional, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Management and Science University, University Drive, off Persiaran Olahraga, Seksyen 13, Shah Alam 40100, Malaysia
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Department of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Universiti, Bandar Barat, Kampar 31900, Malaysia
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Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Sciences, International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur 57000, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: George Moschonis and Gina Trakman
Nutrients 2022, 14(2), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14020280
Received: 4 December 2021 / Revised: 22 December 2021 / Accepted: 23 December 2021 / Published: 10 January 2022
Introduction: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) isolation has altered individuals’ food purchasing behaviour and dietary intake patterns. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the changes in dietary intake patterns and their impacts on the weight status of young adults in Malaysia during the COVID-19 lockdown. Methods: This cross-sectional study involved 1045 young adults in Malaysia. The changes in dietary intake patterns were assessed using the Dietary Diversity Questionnaire with slight modifications, while anthropometric measurements including body height, body weight before the pandemic and current body weight were self-reported. Results: Overall, nearly half of the respondents (48.8%) gained weight during the confinement, with an average increment of 4.06 ± 3.23 kg. Of 1045, 45.3% reported consuming more fruits and 60.2% had higher plain water intake during the pandemic. It is observed that 41.0% to 66.8% of the young adults changed their dietary intake patterns during the pandemic. Increased consumption in cereals and grains (β = 0.084, p = 0.015, 95% CI = 0.017–0.160), as well as oils and fats (β = 0.123, p = 0.001, 95% CI = 0.059–0.241), was positively associated with weight gain during the pandemic. On the contrary, an increased plain water intake was negatively associated with weight gain during the lockdown (β = −0.100, p = 0.003, 95% CI = −0.171–−0.034). Findings in the current study also suggested that cutting back cereals and grains (β = 0.156, p < 0.001, 95% CI = 0.122–0.288), as well as oils and fats (β = 0.091, p = 0.012, 95% CI = 0.022–0.183), contributed significantly to weight loss during the pandemic confinement. Conclusion: In conclusion, the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) drove up the prevalence of overweight/obesity among young adults in Malaysia. Increased consumption of cereals and grains and oils and fats contributed to weight gain in the pandemic lockdown. Nonetheless, a noticeable proportion of young adults in Malaysia shifted to a healthier food choice by increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary intake patterns; weight status; young adults; COVID-19 dietary intake patterns; weight status; young adults; COVID-19
MDPI and ACS Style

Tan, S.T.; Tan, C.X.; Tan, S.S. Changes in Dietary Intake Patterns and Weight Status during the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Cross-Sectional Study Focusing on Young Adults in Malaysia. Nutrients 2022, 14, 280. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14020280

AMA Style

Tan ST, Tan CX, Tan SS. Changes in Dietary Intake Patterns and Weight Status during the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Cross-Sectional Study Focusing on Young Adults in Malaysia. Nutrients. 2022; 14(2):280. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14020280

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tan, Seok T., Chin X. Tan, and Seok S. Tan. 2022. "Changes in Dietary Intake Patterns and Weight Status during the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Cross-Sectional Study Focusing on Young Adults in Malaysia" Nutrients 14, no. 2: 280. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14020280

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