8 in 10 Americans Changed their Eating Habits Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Oct 30, 2020 04:51 PM EDT | By Kristine M. (staff@foodworldnews.com)

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An Estimated 8 In 10 Americans Changed Their Eating Habits Due To Covid-19 Pandemic

(Photo : Unsplash / Pablo Merchán Montes)

The profound effects of COVID-19 on a person's life have become evident with the changes made to their daily routine. 

The global pandemic has made ripples of impact to many nations worldwide, bringing everyone to a virtual standstill. In most countries, a nationwide lockdown was necessary to combat the spread of the disease. Severe changes in people's lifestyles have become evident. For the food industry, a shift in consumer preferences is one good example.

According to the (IFIC) 2020 Food & Health Survey, 85% or 1 in 10 Americans have made changes in eating habits and food preparation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these changes, it is revealed that 60% of Americans report cooking at home more.

Additionally, 32% of the respondents are snacking more, 30% wash fresh produce more often, and 27% think about food more. However, the more important question is if these changes are for the good, the bad, or maybe a little bit of both? 

Home Cooking

According to Global News Wire, when food establishments and restaurants began temporarily closing down shops as part of safety measures, about 60% of the population opted for home-cooked meals. However, these numbers can still be categorized into two groups: the people who are eating healthier and those who are eating less healthier.

A publication from Cambridge University Press reveals that home-cooked meals are generally healthier and that individuals who opt for it consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar, and less fat than those who eat out. 

Additionally, while adhering to stay-at-home protocols, the study says that 43% of respondents eat more fruits, 42% are eating more vegetables, and 30% are eating more protein. Meanwhile, there are also reports that 47% are eating more sweets, 24% are eating fewer vegetables, 21% are eating less fruit, and about 19% say eating less protein.

These results can be linked to the increase in stress hormones due to the ongoing pandemic, which urges people to eat more regardless if it's healthy or not. 

Snacking

When it comes to snacks, the study says that about one-third of respondents are snacking more at present than before the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, less than 10% of the respondents are snacking less than usual. Young adults with the age of 35 below are snacking more than other age groups. 

Shift To Healthier Eating Habits

Despite the increase in snack sales, more people are trying to be healthier. Around 43% of Americans say that they are following a specific diet.

At the same time, intermittent fasting has become the number 1 diet that most Americans follow. Taking the second place is the habit of "clean eating."

In addition, 6 in 10 Americans are putting more emphasis on their overall health currently than they did a decade ago. Furthermore, more than half of the population claim that they put greater emphasis on their weight at present than they did a decade ago. 

Whether these changes will last a year or even more, our eating habits will not be the same. Food choices and the culture of eating food will most likely see a more significant transformation in more years to come.

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