MDPI, Nutrients, 12(12), p. 3708, 2020
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The aim was to explore the self-reported impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nutrition and physical activity behaviour in Dutch older adults and to identify subgroups most susceptible to this impact. Participants (N = 1119, aged 62–98 y, 52.8% female) of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam living independently completed a COVID-19 questionnaire. Questions on diagnosis, quarantine and hospitalization were asked, as well as impact of the pandemic on ten nutrition and physical activity behaviours. Associations of pre-COVID-19 assessed characteristics (age, sex, region, household composition, self-rated health, BMI, physical activity, functional limitations) with reported impact were tested using logistic regression analyses. About half of the sample (48.3–54.3%) reported a decrease in physical activity and exercise due to the pandemic. An impact on nutritional behaviour predisposing to overnutrition (e.g., snacking more) was reported by 20.3–32.4%. In contrast, 6.9–15.1% reported an impact on behaviour predisposing to undernutrition (e.g., skipping warm meals). Those who had been in quarantine (n = 123) more often reported a negative impact. Subgroups with higher risk of impact could be identified. This study shows a negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nutrition and physical activity behaviour of many older adults, which may increase their risk of malnutrition, frailty, sarcopenia and disability.