The first report from the recently funded Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity (UBVO) project 'Changes in mental health, eating and physical activity in England across Covid-19 pandemic lockdown' has just been released. The work is funded by the University's Social Science Division 'COVID-19: Economic, Social, Cultural, & Environmental Impacts - Urgent Response Fund'. The project continues to collect data, and a second report will be produced in August.
Combination of poor eating and reduced physical activity contributed to negative mental health in England’s Covid-19 lockdown
Preliminary results from an ongoing study show that worse eating habits and a decrease in physical activity as a result of lockdown measures have contributed to negative mental health.
An electronic questionnaire survey was carried out by the Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity (UBVO), University of Oxford, between 19th June and 6th July. 837 adults age 18 to 81 across England were questioned about mental health, eating and physical activity before lockdown, during early lockdown, and at the time of survey.
- Stark rise in negative mental health since start of lockdown measures – with younger adults disproportionately suffering these effects
- Decreased physical activity – 46% of participants report being less active
- Increased binge eating and consumption of processed snacks and alcohol
- Poor eating and reduced physical activity contributed to negative mental health in Covid-19 lockdown
Stanley Ulijaszek, Professor of Human Ecology and UBVO Director, said: “COVID19 lock down resulted in increased levels of anxiety, poor sleep, persistent sadness, binge eating, suicidal thoughts, snacking, consumption of alcohol, and reduced levels of physical activity. These changes have potential long-term consequences for obesity rates and chronic disease more broadly”
The full Insight Report is available here on the UBVO website.
Data collection for this research is ongoing. If you or your institution are interested in participating, the survey will be live until 31 July at www.oxfordobesity.org/covid19
This study is supported by the University of Oxford Social Sciences Division COVID-19: Economic, Social, Cultural, & Environmental Impacts - Urgent Response Fund.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Sabine Parrish, project administrator | email@example.com
About the Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity
The Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity (UBVO) is an interdisciplinary research unit based in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford. We are dedicated to understanding the complex and interwoven causes of obesity in populations across the world. Our Fellows, Associates, and students represent a diversity of disciplines, both within and beyond the academic sphere, and we bring together scholars of different disciplines to identify and work on multidisciplinary problems in obesity, and of the socio-cultural and political correlates and drivers of this phenomenon in particular. Discipline areas involved in collaboration at Oxford include anthropology, public health, epidemiology, politics and international relations, economic history, and sociology.
Learn more about our work at www.oxfordobesity.org