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Work- and mental health-related events and body mass index trajectories during the Covid-19 lockdown. Evidence from the lifelines cohort study in the Netherlands

BACKGROUND: 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.
METHODS: 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.
RESULTS: 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.
CONCLUSIONS: During the Covid-19 pandemic, strong heterogeneity was observed in BMI trajectories. This was partially related to
work- and mental health-related events.

Year of publication





Mangot-Sala, L.
Smidt, N.
Liefbroer, A.C.

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