Sex disparities in food consumption patterns, dietary diversity and determinants of self-reported body weight changes before and amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 10 Arab countries

Regional CORONA COOKING Survey Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic along with its confinement period boosted lifestyle modifications and impacted women and men differently which exacerbated existing gender inequalities. The main objective of this paper is to assess the gender-based differentials in food consumption patterns, dietary diversity and the determinants favoring weight change before and amid the COVID-19 pandemic among Arab men and women from 10 Arab countries. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted based on a convenience sample of 12,447 households' family members (mean age: 33.2 ± 12.9; 50.1% females) and information from participants aged 18 years and above was collected about periods before and during the pandemic. Results: Findings showed that, during the COVID-19 period, the dietary diversity, declined by 1.9% among females compared to males (0.4%) (p < 0.001) and by 1.5% among overweight participants (p < 0.001) compared to their counterparts. Conclusions: To conclude, gender-sensitive strategies and policies to address weight gain and dietary diversity during emergent shocks and pandemics are urgently needed in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029219
Number of pages1
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Arab countries
  • body mass index
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • dietary diversity
  • overweight
  • sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this