Purpose: The COVID-19 lockdown measures have had a significant impact on risk behaviors as alcohol use and disordered eating. However, little is known about a serious health-risk-behavior named “food and alcohol disturbance” (FAD), characterized by engaging in dysfunctional eating on days of planned alcohol consumption. The aim of the present study was to investigate potential factors that may have put young adults at risk or protected against FAD during the COVID-19 lockdown. Methods: A sample of 447 young adults (280 females, 167 males; range 18–26) completed an online survey during the country’s nationwide lockdown composed of self-reported measures assessing FAD behaviors, alcohol consumption, compensatory behaviors, eating and weight concerns, social support, emotion regulation strategies, and living arrangement. Results: Our findings showed that FAD was significantly and positively correlated to alcohol consumption, use of laxatives, self-induced vomiting, eating and weight concerns, and expressive suppression, and negatively correlated to social support and living with family. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that alcohol consumption, eating concern, and expression suppression positively predicted FAD, while social support and living with family were negative predictors. Conclusions: Our results suggest that during the COVID-19 lockdown, preoccupation with eating and the use of expressive suppression may have increased vulnerability to FAD; conversely, perceived social support and living with family may have been a source of protection against this dysfunctional behavior. Level of evidence: Level V, descriptive study.
Pompili, S., Di Tata, D., Bianchi, D., Lonigro, A., Zammuto, M., Baiocco, R., et al. (2022). Food and alcohol disturbance among young adults during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy: risk and protective factors. EATING AND WEIGHT DISORDERS, 27(2), 769-780 [10.1007/s40519-021-01220-6].