Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Dietary Behavior Related to Oral Health in Teesside, United Kingdom

Rachael England, Lawrence Nnyanzi, Vida Zohoori

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Diet is well established as a significant etiological factor in oral diseases, particularly dental caries, and dental erosion. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the stay-at-home orders (lockdown) impacted people’s well-being. Emotional distress affects food preferences and consumption. Therefore, this study aimed to understand the dietary changes due to lockdown in Teesside and consequently its impact on oral health.

Method: An online survey was developed based on the World Health Organization Adult Oral Health Survey. After obtaining ethical approval, the survey was distributed among residents ≥18y living in Teesside. The questions addressed dietary choices before and during the lockdown. Participants were also invited to a semi-structured interview to understand the influence of lockdown on dietary choices.

Results: The frequency of consuming daily fresh fruit decreased by 3.2%. Participants consuming cakes and biscuits 2-3 times daily doubled from 5.4% to 10.6%. The daily consumption of sweets increased from 8.6% to 14.9%. Drinking alcohol four or more times per week increased from 7.1% to 12.5%. The most common explanations were reliance on online grocery shopping, lack of social interaction, and working from home.

Conclusion: Support strategies are needed for communities to maintain healthy nutritional choices during periods of significant upheaval.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-15
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental and Oral Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2022


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