Publication date: Dec 02, 2023
The aim of this study was to identify heterogeneity in trajectories of body mass index (BMI) during the Covid-19 pandemic in the Netherlands. Moreover, we aimed to investigate whether work- and mental health-related disruptive events experienced during the pandemic, such as job insecurity or depression, were associated with such BMI trajectories. Longitudinal data from the Lifelines Covid Questionnaire was used (21 waves between April 2020 and July 2021; n = 64,630). Different trajectories were identified using group-based trajectory models. Multinomial regression models were fitted to analyse the main determinants of experiencing changes in BMI during the pandemic. Trajectories of increased BMI, and, to a lesser extent also trajectories of decreased BMI, were more common among those who experienced disruptive work-related events (e. g., being laid-off or having a temporary contract) and mental health-related events (e. g., anxiety or depression) during the pandemic. Those experiencing multiple events were particularly likely to show trajectories of increased or decreased BMI. During the Covid-19 pandemic, strong heterogeneity was observed in BMI trajectories. This was partially related to work- and mental health-related events.