Studies being presented at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE bring new insights into how people ate, shopped and felt about food as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded. Studying these trends can shed light on potential lingering health impacts of the pandemic and inform responses to future emergencies. Here are four highlights:
Many adults consumed more unhealthy foods and sugary drinks during the pandemic
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using a survey of nearly 4,000 U.S. adults conducted in June 2020 found that a sizeable portion of Americans increased their consumption of unhealthy snacks, desserts and sugary drinks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixteen percent of respondents reported they often/always consumed more unhealthy snacks and desserts since the pandemic and 36% of respondents reported sometimes doing so. Ten percent of respondents reported often/always consuming more sugary beverages and 22% said they sometimes did. Respondents reporting the greatest increase in consumption of unhealthy snacks, desserts or sugary drinks were more likely to be younger than age 65, identify as Black, have lower income and have obesity. Women were significantly more likely than men to report often/always consuming more unhealthy snacks or desserts. Researchers say the findings could help inform strategies to reduce added sugar intake among U.S. adults going forward.