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The impact of lockdown on wellbeing, fruit and vegetable consumption, and eating behaviour

Last registered on May 13, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

The impact of lockdown on wellbeing, fruit and vegetable consumption, and eating behaviour
Initial registration date
May 13, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 13, 2020, 3:39 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


Primary Investigator

University of Warwick

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust
PI Affiliation
Warwick Medical School
PI Affiliation
Warwick Medical School
PI Affiliation
Warwick Business School

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The current Covid-19 pandemic is having global impact on our way of life. For example, people’s activity and eating behaviour changed in order to fit in with the guidance on social distancing and staying at home. There is some emerging literature that weight gain during lock down is minimal. However, it is not known whether eating behaviour and resulting weight changes are different in people with obesity as compared to general population. Our study will provide information on eating behaviour and fruit and vegetable consumption during lockdown. This will help to inform obesity prevention policy interventions and ultimately health outcomes.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Alkhudairy, Lena et al. 2020. "The impact of lockdown on wellbeing, fruit and vegetable consumption, and eating behaviour." AEA RCT Registry. May 13.
Experimental Details


Online survey
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Changes in well-being mental health, fruit and vegetable consumption and eating behaviour in lockdown compared to normal times, and correlations in the (changes in) these variables.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Online survey of a representative sample of the 18+ population of Coventry and the Warwickshire.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Random sample provided by survey company (Qualtrics or Prolific).
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Stratified by 2 gender categories, 4 age groups and possibly around 20 3-digit postcodes for representativeness.
Sample size: planned number of observations
1000 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
NA, observational study
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
June 02, 2020, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
June 02, 2020, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
499 individuals
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

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Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Background ‘Lockdowns’ to control the spread of COVID-19 in the UK affected many aspects of life and may have adversely affected diets. We aimed to examine (1) the effect of lockdowns on fruit and vegetable consumption, as a proxy for healthy diets more generally, and on weight and well-being, (2) whether any subgroup was particularly affected and (3) the barriers and facilitators to a healthy diet in lockdown.

Methods We conducted a mixed-method longitudinal study, involving an online survey of 1003 adults in the West Midlands, UK, 494 of whom were surveyed at two different points in time. Our first time point was during stringent COVID-19 lockdown and the second during a period of more relaxed restrictions. We asked quantitative questions about fruit and vegetable consumption; physical activity, sociodemographic characteristics, body mass index and well-being and qualitative questions about the reasons behind reported changes.

Results We find no evidence for decreased fruit and vegetable consumption during lockdown compared with afterwards. If anything, consumption increased by half a portion daily among women, particularly among those who normally have a long commute. This finding, combined with a significant increase in physical activity, suggests that behaviours were healthier during lockdown, consistent with higher self-reported health. However, well-being deteriorated markedly, and participants reported being heavier during the lockdown as well. Our qualitative data suggest that an abundance of resources (more time) supported higher fruit and vegetable consumption during lockdown, despite increased access issues.

Conclusions Our results may assuage concerns that lockdowns adversely affected diets. They may point to the impact of commuting on diet, particularly for women. We add longitudinal evidence to a growing body of literature on the adverse effect of lockdown on mental health.
van Rens T, Hanson P, Oyebode O, et alHealthy diets, lifestyle changes and well-being during and after lockdown: longitudinal evidence from the West Midlands. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health 2022;5:doi: 10.1136/bmjnph-2022-000562

Reports & Other Materials