Cooking at Home and Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet During the COVID-19 Confinement: The Experience From the Croatian COVIDiet Study
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Frontiers Research Foundation
Body mass indexCookingCOVID-19 confinementMediterranean dietQuestionnaireSARS-CoV-2COVID-19
Pfeifer D, Rešetar J, Gajdoš Kljusuric´ J, Panjkota Krbavcˇ ic´ I, Vranešic´ Bender D, Rodríguez-Pérez C, Ruíz-López MD and Šatalic´ Z (2021) Cooking at Home and Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet During the COVID-19 Confinement: The Experience From the Croatian COVIDiet Study. Front. Nutr. 8:617721. doi: [10.3389/fnut.2021.617721]
Introduction: The primary aims of this study were to evaluate the changes in dietary behavior among the Croatian adult population during the COVID-19 outbreak and to explore the impact of confinement on cooking habits. Methods: The study was based on results from COVIDiet_Int cross-sectional study-a part of COVIDiet project (NCT04449731). A self-administered online questionnaire was used to assess the frequency of food consumption, eating habits, and sociodemographic information. A total number of 4,281 participants (80.5% females and 19.4% males) completed the questionnaire. Results: The Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) score before the confinement was 5.02 +/- 1.97, while during the confinement, the MEDAS score increased to 5.85 +/- 2.04. Participants who had higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) during the confinement were mostly females (88.8%), aged between 20 and 50 years, with the highest level of education (66.3%) and normal BMI (70.6%). The majority of participants maintained their dietary behavior as it was before COVID-19 confinement, while 36.9% decreased their physical activity. Participants with higher MEDAS score were more eager to increase their physical activity. Additionally, higher median values of MEDAS score were noted for participants with body mass index values below 24.9 kg/m(2) (6.0 vs. 5.0 for participants with BMI above 25 kg/m(2)). Participants in all residence places increased their cooking frequency during the confinement (53.8%), which was associated with an increase in vegetables, legumes, as well as fish and seafood consumption. Conclusions: According to our findings, Croatian adults exhibited medium adherence to the MedDiet during the COVID-19 confinement. The results suggest that cooking frequency could be positively associated with overall dietary quality, which is of utmost importance in these demanding times.