Differential Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Health Behaviors and Outcomes

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the ways people live their lives, with individuals cutting back or avoiding entirely all activities that involve sharing space with others. This includes social gatherings and leisure activities such as dining at restaurants or going to the movies, and former routines such as going to the gym or riding public transportation. In this paper, Jialu Streeter and Marie Conley Smith examine whether and to what extent the pandemic has changed people’s healthy living behaviors and outcomes, with evidence from a survey conducted with a nationally representative sample by the Stanford Center on Longevity at the end of 2020.