2020-11-18Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/7055
Health behaviour and COVID-19: Initial findings on the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic poses new challenges to both individuals and societies that impact health behaviour in many ways. This narrative review brings together initial findings for smoking, alcohol use, nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Smoking and obesity are potential direct risk factors for a severe course of COVID-19, and alcohol abuse, physical inactivity and an unbalanced diet can be indirect risk factors. The constraints of public life to contain the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the opportunities for physical activity and sports, although the initial results on physical activity during this period for Germany do not reflect this assumption. While a part of the population reports making healthier diet choices than before the pandemic, others do not. For smoking and risky alcohol use, data at an aggregate level for the general population do not indicate any behaviour changes. However, different trends appear to be emerging for different population groups pointing to the fact that social inequalities in pandemic-related changes to health behaviour must be assumed. Should further studies confirm these results, this would indicate a need for pandemic-specific prevention measures. Furthermore, specifically during the pandemic, prevention and health promotion measures directed at changes to health behaviour should continue to be implemented and adapted to the restrictions due to the pandemic. Equity in health should be promoted in particular.
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