Increased Screen Time Is Associated With Alcohol Desire and Sweetened Foods Consumption During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tebar, William R., Christofaro, Diego G. D., Diniz, Tiego A., Lofrano-Prado, Mara Cristina, Botero, Joao Paulo, Correia, Marilia de Almeida, Cucato, Gabriel, Ritti-Dias, Raphael Mendes and Prado, Wagner Luiz do (2021) Increased Screen Time Is Associated With Alcohol Desire and Sweetened Foods Consumption During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Frontiers in Nutrition, 8. p. 630586. ISSN 2296-861X

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Background: Elevated screen time has been associated with addictive behaviors, such as alcohol and sugar intake and smoking. Considering the substantial increase in screen time caused by social isolation policies, this study aimed to analyze the association of increased screen time in different devices during the COVID-19 pandemic with consumption and increased desire of alcohol, smoking, and sweetened foods in adults.

Methods: A sample of 1,897 adults with a mean age of 37.9 (13.3) years was assessed by an online survey, being composed by 58% of women. Participants were asked whether screen time in television, cell phone, and computer increased during the pandemic, as well as how much time is spent in each device. Closed questions assessed the frequency of alcohol and sweetened food consumption, smoking, and an increased desire to drink and smoke during the pandemic. Educational level, age, sex, feeling of stress, anxiety, depression, and use of a screen device for physical activity were covariates. Binary logistic regression models considered adjustment for covariates and for mutual habits.

Results: Increased television time was associated with increased desire to drink (OR = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.12; 1.89) and increased sweetened food consumption (OR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.18; 1.99), while an increase in computer use was negatively associated with consumption of alcohol (OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.53; 0.86) and sweetened foods (OR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.62; 0.98). Increased cell phone time was associated with increased sweetened food consumption during the pandemic (OR = 1.78, 95% CI: 1.18; 2.67). Participants with increased time in the three devices were less likely to consume sweetened foods for ≥5 days per week (OR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.39; 0.99) but were twice as likely to have sweetened food consumption increased during pandemic (OR = 2.04, 95% CI: 1.07; 3.88).

Conclusion: Increased screen time was differently associated with consumption and desire for alcohol and sweets according to screen devices. Increased time in television and cell phones need to be considered for further investigations of behavioral impairments caused by the pandemic.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sedentary behavior, dietary pattern, substance use, COVID-19, pandemic
Subjects: B400 Nutrition
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2021 11:33
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 15:47

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