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Current Affairs

Impact of COVID-19 on eating habits of adults

Date: 04 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A study has now looked at how the Covid-19 pandemic may have impacted the eating habits of older people.  The research is based on a poll of Americans in their 50s and older.

 

Background

Public health guidance to avoid infection will continue to alter food-buying habits for many older people and those with health conditions, so further support for them may be needed to ensure healthy habits continue.

 

Details

  • The national poll found that most people in their 50s and older were capable home cooks just before Covid-19 struck the US.

  • The cooking skills that enabled half of older adults to eat dinner at home six or seven days a week may have served them well during the height of the pandemic, the poll suggests.

  • The poll also found that only 5% of these older people had ordered groceries online before the outbreak. This suggests that they may need added support for grocery shopping as the pandemic continues and older adults seek to avoid Covid-19.

  • The poll also shows vulnerability for many older adults. One in four said they already ate most or all of their meals alone, even before the pandemic led to social-distancing rules. Solo diners reported less healthy diets than those who rarely or never ate alone.

  • In addition, 11% of older adults ate fast food three times a week or more. This group was less likely to call their overall diet healthy.

  • The temporary closure of restaurants would have affected half of those polled, who said they dined out at least once a week before they took the poll.

  • Restaurants could help support healthy eating by making sure affordable healthy options are available on menus and making sure nutrition information is easily available.