Examining the interplay between the eating behavior and physical activity of senior citizens during the Covid-19 lockdown

Denson Mariano Liday


A new coronavirus has arisen, causing a pandemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans. The COVID-19 pandemic has a major effect on human health, resulting in abrupt lifestyle changes, social distances and loneliness at home. The goal of this study was to examine the immediate effect of the pandemic on eating behavior and physical activity among the elderly population aged 60 years and older. Data on the features of the senior citizens' profile, eating habits and physical activity during the lock-up were evaluated and analyzed in this report. In addition, the correlation, key and interaction effects of some of the essential variables in the analysis were also evaluated. The findings of the study revealed a need to promote eating habits that may help to minimize the health inequalities created by eating disorders. Moreover, the synergies between the various determinants of eating habits was found to be deficient. Home restrictions and confinement of the participants also reduced the overall physical activity level of the participants.  Income class appeared as a factor on the interaction between eating behavior and physical activity. Recognizing these findings may be significant in developing health promotion programs for older people during the remaining period of quarantine or future ones. There is a need for health education as a response scheme to COVID-19 in low-income settings, and it is essential that approaches are contextually suitable with the vulnerable age group.


Phillipou A, Meyer D, Neill E, Tan EJ, Toh WL, Rheenen TEV, et al. Eating and exercise behaviors in eating disorders and the general population during the COVID‐19 pandemic in Australia: Initial results from the COLLATE project [Internet]. Wiley Online Library. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2020 [cited 2020Oct9]. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/eat.23317.

Timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines [Internet]. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation; 2020 [cited 2020Oct9]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_COVID-19_pandemic_in_the_Philippines.

Di Renzo L; Gualtieri P; Pivari F; Soldati L; Attinà A; Cinelli G; Leggeri C; Caparello G; Barrea L; Scerbo F; Esposito E; De Lorenzo A; Eating habits and lifestyle changes during COVID-19 lockdown: an Italian survey [Internet]. Journal of translational medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine; [cited 2020Oct9]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32513197/.

COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolutions: Department of Health website [Internet]. COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolutions | Department of Health website. [cited 2020Oct20]. Available from: https://www.doh.gov.ph/COVID-19/IATF-Resolutions

Prasetyo YT, Castillo AM, Salonga LJ, Sia JA, Seneta JA. Factors affecting perceived effectiveness of COVID-19 prevention measures among Filipinos during Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon, Philippines: Integrating Protection Motivation Theory and extended Theory of Planned Behavior [Internet]. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. Elsevier; 2020 [cited 2020Oct20]. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971220306226


Mayasari NR, Ho DKN, Lundy DJ, Skalny AV, Tinkov AA, Teng I-C, et al. Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Food Security and Diet-Related Lifestyle Behaviors: An Analytical Study of Google Trends-Based Query Volumes [Internet]. MDPI. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute; 2020 [cited 2020Oct20]. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/10/3103/htm.

Ammar A, Brach M, Trabelsi K, Chtourou H, Boukhris O, Masmoudi L, et al. Effects of COVID-19 Home Confinement on Eating Behaviour and Physical Activity: Results of the ECLB-COVID19 International Online Survey [Internet]. MDPI. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute; 2020 [cited 2020Oct20]. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/6/1583.

Sidor A, Rzymski P. Dietary Choices and Habits during COVID-19 Lockdown: Experience from Poland [Internet]. MDPI. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute; 2020 [cited 2020Oct20]. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/6/1657/htm.

Reyes CM, Arboneda AA, Asis RD. Silver Linings for the Elderly in the Philippines: Policies and Programs for Senior Citizens [Internet]. Think Asia. Philippine Institute for Development Studies; 2019 [cited 2020Oct9]. Available from: https://think-asia.org/handle/11540/11190.

Sanchez N. THE FILIPINO SENIOR CITIZEN: AT A GLANCE [Internet]. Academia.edu - Share research. [cited 2020Oct9]. Available from: https://www.academia.edu/3539922/THE_FILIPINO_SENIOR_CITIZEN_AT_A_GLANCE.

Call for participation: Rethinking Social transformations: Inequalities in the Arab region in light of Covid-19 [Internet]. UNESCO. 2020 [cited 2020Oct20]. Available from: https://en.unesco.org/news/call-participation-rethinking-social-transformations-inequalities-arab-region-light-covid-19

Psychology ABDof. Social Cognitive Theory: An Agentic Perspective [Internet]. Annual Reviews. [cited 2020Oct9]. Available from: https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.psych.52.1.1.

LS; BHHMHJE. A multi-component universal intervention to improve diet and physical activity among adults with intellectual disabilities in community residences: a cluster randomised controlled trial [Internet]. Research in developmental disabilities. U.S. National Library of Medicine; [cited 2020Oct9]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24021393/.

Administrator. Training Modules in Research Methods Courses Standardized [Internet]. PNHRS. 2018 [cited 2020Oct10]. Available from: http://www.healthresearch.ph/index.php/regional-news/599-training-modules-in-research-methods-courses-standardized-2.

MS; S. Methodology Series Module 3: Cross-sectional Studies [Internet]. Indian journal of dermatology. U.S. National Library of Medicine; [cited 2020Oct10]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27293245/.

Hunot C;Fildes A;Croker H;Llewellyn CH;Wardle J;Beeken RJ; Appetitive traits and relationships with BMI in adults: Development of the Adult Eating Behaviour Questionnaire [Internet]. Appetite. U.S. National Library of Medicine; [cited 2020Oct10]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27215837/.

CHAMPS Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Adults [Internet]. Center for Aging in Diverse Communities. [cited 2020Oct10]. Available from: https://cadc.ucsf.edu/champs.

JON VIKTOR D. CABUENAS GMAN. Who is middle class? Here's the classification from Philippine gov't think tank [Internet]. GMA News Online. GMA News Online; 2020 [cited 2020Oct10]. Available from: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/money/economy/733653/who-is-middle-class-here-s-the-classification-from-philippine-gov-t-think-tank/story/.

Mendoza RU. COVID-19: Navigating Inclusive Recovery towards the New Normal [Internet]. SSRN. 2020 [cited 2020Oct20]. Available from: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3598116.

Additional informationFundingThis work was supported by the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Mental Health [T32MH082761-10];Healthy Weight Research Network [WA00583863]. Rigidity and Sensory Sensitivity: Independent Contributions to Selective Eating in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults [Internet]. Taylor & Francis. [cited 2020Oct10]. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15374416.2020.1738236?af=R

Neto Lde O, Elsangedy HM, Tavares VDde O, Teixeira CVLS, Behm DG, Silva-Grigoletto MED. #TrainingInHome - Home-based training during COVID-19 (SARS-COV2) pandemic: physical exercise and behavior-based approach [Internet]. Revista Brasileira de Fisiologia do Exercício. [cited 2020Oct20]. Available from: http://portalatlanticaeditora.com.br/index.php/revistafisiologia/article/view/4006

Hughes SL, Seymour RB, Campbell RT, Whitelaw N, Bazzarre T. Best-practice physical activity programs for older adults: findings from the national impact study [Internet]. American journal of public health. American Public Health Association; 2009 [cited 2020Oct10]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2622796/.

GM; CCJPKEC. Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness: definitions and distinctions for health-related research [Internet]. Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974). U.S. National Library of Medicine; [cited 2020Oct10]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3920711/.

Langhammer B, Bergland A, Rydwik E. The Importance of Physical Activity Exercise among Older People [Internet]. BioMed research international. Hindawi; 2018 [cited 2020Oct10]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6304477/.

Pechey R, Monsivais P. Socioeconomic inequalities in the healthiness of food choices: Exploring the contributions of food expenditures [Internet]. Preventive medicine. Academic Press; 2016 [cited 2020Oct10]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4910945/.

Lau LL, Hung N, Go DJ, Ferma J, Choi M, Dodd W, et al. Knowledge, attitudes and practices of COVID-19 among income-poor households in the Philippines: A cross-sectional study [Internet]. Journal of global health. International Society of Global Health; 2020 [cited 2020Oct20]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7294392/

Campbell JP, Turner JE. Debunking the myth of exercise-induced immune suppression: redefining the impact of exercise on immunological health across the lifespan. Frontiers in immunology. 2018 Apr 16;9:648.

Naja F, Hamadeh R. Nutrition amid the COVID-19 pandemic: a multi-level framework for action [Internet]. Nature News. Nature Publishing Group; 2020 [cited 2020Oct20]. Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41430-020-0634-3?fbclid=IwAR3_Ij9Lus2a_5RwIbXMEz-tUJZ9vgh0ekD14KrJoz7qmmVrFHhFxzNAxPs.

Butler MJ, Barrientos RM. The impact of nutrition on COVID-19 susceptibility and long-term consequences [Internet]. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. Academic Press; 2020 [cited 2020Oct20]. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889159120305377.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijphs.v10i3.20827


  • There are currently no refbacks.

International Journal of Public Health Science (IJPHS)
p-ISSN: 2252-8806, e-ISSN: 2620-4126

View IJPHS Stats

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.