1Faculdade De Medicina, Universidade De São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Purpose: To investigate the effects of social isolation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic on the eating habits and lifestyle behavior of post-bariatric women. Methods: A qualitative study was carried out with women, aged 20-60 years, who underwent bariatric surgery in the past 12 months, and who did not participate in any exercise training program during the period of COVID-19 quarantine. A guiding script was used to conduct individual online interviews by video call for data collection. The moderator guide inquired about prestablished topics: eating habits, exercise and physical activity, sedentary behaviour and screen time. Audios were recorded, transcribed, translated, and content analysis was conducted. Results: Eleven women (aged with 43.91±9.77 years, and mean of body mass index of 26±2.9 kg/m2) participated in this study. Average of surgery time was 12.4±4.3 months. Most participants underwent Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (81.8%), were white (45.5%), married (63.6%), had high school education level (54.5%), and worked outside home (72.7%). Many patients had to change their daily exercise routine and choose home based-exercise as alternative to staying active and increased the level of physical activity. On the other hand, other patients reported that the increased time at home and the presence of the spouse at home favoured the increase in sedentary behaviour and time screen. Generally, we observed positive aspects in eating habits due to more available time to cook (“The pandemic helped me to follow the nutritionist’s diet because I had more time to prepare the salad”). However, for some patients, the increased work demand and changes in daily routine negatively affected eating habits (“The pandemic has affected meals due to work hours. Reduced staff at the hospital so I don’t have time to eat. I have lunch at 10 am, because in the afternoon I can’t eat”). Conclusion: In conclusion, our results point to a positive change in the adaptation of the daily routine, favouring the adoption of healthy eating habits and increased levels of physical activity at work. However, for other patients, who had increased work demand and anxiety levels, the pandemic showed negative effects on the adoption of inappropriate eating habits.
Keywords: COVID-19, eating habits, lifestyle, post-bariatric surgery women.