This cross-sectional study examined how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the food practices, physical activity (PA) levels, and stress levels of aging adults ages 40 years and older from seven states. It also explored to what extent the COVID-19 outcomes were affected by the social determinants of health (SDH).
Subject and methods
Respondents (n = 1250) completed an online survey. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the sociodemographic attributes and COVID-19 responses while the multiple llinear regression (MLR) test evaluated to what extent the SDH variables measured were associated with the reported COVID-19 impacts food practices, PA levels, and stress levels.
Respondents were mostly White (75.9%), married (58.7%), age 60 years and older (61.8%), with a high school education or higher (97.4%). Most of the respondents (85.8%) live in areas that respondents perceived as supportive of health and well-being opportunities for older adults. Nearly one-half of the respondents reported maintaining their pre-pandemic grocery shopping/food buying frequency (44.7%) and PA levels (48.1%). However, 48.6% reported being “somewhat or very stressed” due to the pandemic. Findings revealed that the COVID-19 impacts on food-buying, PA levels, and stress levels were significantly influenced by age, gender, race, education, location, community, nutritional risk, quality of life, food security, and income (p < 0.05).
These findings provide valuable information as we continue to confront the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the health and well-being of aging adults. We can use this information to inform future public health programming interventions and opportunities.