The same storm but not the same boat: Effects of COVID-19 stay-at-home order on mental health in individuals with overweight

Mara C. Lofrano-Prado, Wagner Luiz do Prado*, Joao Paulo Botero, Michelle L Cardel, Breno Q. Farah, Max D Oliveira, Gabriel G Cucato, Marilia A Correia, Raphael M Ritti-Dias

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


OBJECTIVE: To describe the effects of stay-at-home orders and social distancing during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on mental health and to compare these outcomes between individuals with normal weight and overweight.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 1857 Brazilian adults, who were invited through social media to answer an online questionnaire from 5 May 2020 to 17 May 2020. The instrument included questions related to health behaviour, mental health (anxiety, depression, self-esteem, sadness and stress) and overall health. Overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 Kg/m 2 . Multiple logistic regression was conducted to identify whether overweight is associated with mental health variables.

RESULTS: Women reported increased anxiety (36.5% vs 22.2%, P < .01), depression (16.2% vs 8.8%, P < .01), low self-esteem (19.8% vs 10.6%, P < .01), sadness (17.7% vs 10.2%, P < .01), and stress (29.5% vs 19.3%, P < .01) relative to men. Women with overweight are more likely to report higher feeling of anxiety (OR 1.62, CI 95% 1.22-2.14), depression (OR 1.79, CI 95% 1.25-2.55), low self-esteem (OR 1.82, CI95% 1.28-2.58) and sadness (OR 1.51, CI 95% 1.08-2.10), adjusted for age, social isolation days, educational level, chronic diseases, smoke, alcohol intake and physical activity.

CONCLUSION: Women, specially those with overweight are more vulnerable to the deleterious effects of stay-at-home orders on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12425
Number of pages5
JournalClinical obesity
Issue number1
Early online date20 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


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