Alcohol consumption changes during the first COVID-19 lockdown: an online population survey in a convenience sample of French-speaking Belgian residents.
An online survey among French-speaking Belgians (N=7711) investigated self-reported changes in alcohol consumption during the first COVID-19-related lockdown (March 17th – May 4th 2020). Population-weighted estimates indicated that 31.37% of the population increased consumption during lockdown, 30.32% decreased consumption and 38.31% reported unchanged consumption. The magnitude of change was higher for “decreasers” than “increasers”, resulting in a slight reduction in overall consumption. A multiple regression analysis revealed that age, occupational status, number of cohabitants, perceived alcohol accessibility, drinking motivations and previous consumption predicted consumption changes. The lockdown was thus associated with consumption modifications among French-speaking Belgians, without a prevailing direction of change.