Background. Social isolation turned out to be a new experience that affected many aspects, including those related to the lifestyle of people all around the world. Changing dietary habits, combined with reduced physical activity, may contribute to an increased risk of obesity among children and adolescents. The aim of the study was to determine the impact of the social isolation related to the COVID-19 pandemic on the eating behavior of children and adolescents. The research tool was a questionnaire consisting of open-ended and choice questions concerning issues related to eating behaviors, regularity and frequency of meals, specific product groups and supplements used.
Results and conclusion. Most respondents were teenagers aged 13 ÷ 15 and 16 ÷ 18 living in rural areas. Weight gain during the social isolation related to the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by 28.5 % of girls and 36.3 % of boys. The main reasons were a remote learning mode, decreased physical activity, depressed mood, stress, eating and sleep disorders. There were no significant differences in the number of meals consumed before and during the pandemic between boys and girls. Before the pandemic, both groups were comprised mainly by people eating three meals. During the social isolation, the number of people eating five or more meals a day increased in both groups. An increase in the consumption of coffee, tea and salty and sweet snacks was observed. During the pandemic, the number of people undertaking physical activity decreased, so did the average time spend on sports.
dietary habits, adolescents, COVID-19 pandemic, social isolation, physical activity