Nutritional changes during the COVID-19 pandemic: a rapid scoping review on the impact of psychological factors

Anthea Van Laren, Mona Drießen, Sophia Rasa, Karlijn Massar, Gill A Ten Hoor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


COVID-19 and the resulting measures to curb the spread of the virus have significantly changed our lives, including our nutritional choices. In this rapid scoping review an overview is provided of what psychological factors may be associated with peoples' eating behaviour during COVID-19 restrictions. Relevant literature was identified using PubMed, PsycInfo, CINAHL and MEDLINE databases from 2019 onwards. For included studies, information on study characteristics, eating behaviours, and psychological factors were extracted. 118 articles were included, representing 30 countries. Findings indicated that most people consumed more and unhealthy food in times of COVID-19 restrictions, while some consumed less but often for the wrong reasons. Several psychological factors, related to (1) affective reactions, (2) anxiety, fear and worriers, (3) stress and (4) subjective and mental wellbeing were found to be associated with this increase in food consumption. These outcomes may help to be better inform future interventions, and with that, to be better prepared in case of future lockdown scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-187
Number of pages64
JournalInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2023

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