Changes in dietary patterns among youths in China during COVID-19 epidemic: The COVID-19 impact on lifestyle change survey (COINLICS)

Peng Jia, Liang Liu, Xiaofen Xie, Changzheng Yuan, Hui Chen, Bing Guo, Junmin Zhou, Shujuan Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Limited studies have focused on how COVID-19 outbreak and thereby lockdown have affected the youth's diet patterns. This study aimed to assess changes in diet patterns among youths in China under the COVID-19 lockdown, based on the COVID-19 Impact on Lifestyle Change Survey (COINLICS), a nationwide retrospective survey distributed via social media platforms during 9–12 May 2020 where 10,082 youth participants in China have voluntarily reported their basic sociodemographic information and routine diet patterns in the months before and after COVID-19 lockdown. We used paired t-tests or χ2 tests to evaluate the significance of differences in consumption patterns of 12 major food groups and beverages across educational levels, between sexes, and before and after COVID-19 lockdown. During the COVID-19 lockdown, significant decreases were observed in the frequency of intake of rice, meat, poultry, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, soybean products, and dairy products, with significant sex differences (females consuming more rice, fresh vegetables and fruit and less meat, poultry, soybean and dairy products than males). Significant increases were observed in the frequency of consumption of wheat products, other staple foods, and preserved vegetables, with males consuming these foods more frequently than females. Graduate students consumed most foods more frequently except rice and other staple foods and preserved vegetables. The frequency of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption had decreased while frequency of tea drinking had increased. The participating youths' diet patterns had significantly changed during the COVID-19 lockdown, with heterogeneities observed to different extents between sexes and across educational levels. Our findings would inform policy-makers and health professionals of these changes in time for better policy making and public health practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Diet pattern
  • Lockdown
  • Overweight
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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