Eating habits and lifestyle during covid-19 lockdown in the united arab emirates: A cross-sectional study

Source of Publication



© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. The coronavirus disease is still spreading in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with subsequent lockdowns and social distancing measures being enforced by the government. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of the lockdown on eating habits and lifestyle behaviors among residents of the UAE. A cross-sectional study among adults in the UAE was conducted using an online questionnaire between April and May 2020. A total of 1012 subjects participated in the study. During the pandemic, 31% reported weight gain and 72.2% had less than eight cups of water per day. Furthermore, the dietary habits of the participants were distanced from the Mediterranean diet principles and closer to “unhealthy” dietary patterns. Moreover, 38.5% did not engage in physical activity and 36.2% spent over five hours per day on screens for entertainment. A significantly higher percentage of participants reported physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, irritability, and tension “all the time” during the pandemic compared to before the pandemic (p < 0.001). Sleep disturbances were prevalent among 60.8% of the participants during the pandemic. Although lockdowns are an important safety measure to protect public health, results indicate that they might cause a variety of lifestyle changes, physical inactivity, and psychological problems among adults in the UAE.

Document Type


First Page


Last Page


Publication Date