COVID-19 has affected the health of the population in more ways than one. Lockdown and quarantine has meant that many people have had a change in lifestyle, generally becoming more sedentary if they are isolated or perhaps working from home. We are certainly not going out as much for socializing and exercise. One survey found that 48% of people had reported putting on weight since lockdown measures were put into place. We are generally eating and snacking more, and spending more time in the kitchen cooking and baking. The average grocery bill has also proven that our eating habits have certainly changed since the start of the pandemic.
Moving away from grocery stores
Many people have moved away from large mainstream grocery stores, instead relying on food subscription services. According to Guy Marion, one of the founders of the subscription retention company, Brightback, there has been a big increase in the use of quality meal delivery services, such as Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. New customers are drawn to using these meal-kit providers because of the competitive pricing and convenience. Food subscription boxes are offering home cooks new ways of eating and interesting recipe ideas, all delivered directly to their door, contact-free. There are food subscription boxes for all tastes, catering for vegans, meat-eaters and snack-lovers. You can even sign up to have delicious ice-cream delivered all year round.
More snacking and alcohol
It’s not surprising that many people have reported weight gain since lockdown measures were put in place. One study done by The Grocer found that although 44% of people were eating less takeaway food, 49% were eating more cookies and cake. 65% of younger people were also eating more candy than they used to. 34% of people were drinking more alcohol, which is one of the prime culprits of weight gain. Alcohol actually contains 7 calories per gram – this is almost as much as a gram of pure fat. There are 635 calories in your average bottle of wine, more than ⅕ of the daily recommended amount of calories. There is also very little nutritional value in alcohol – the body simply doesn’t need it.
The rise of home cooking
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly grocery bill for a household has risen by 80% from $69 to $155. In fact 25% of people spend up to $200 per week. In general we are staying home more and cooking a lot of meals from scratch. 67% of people say that they are experimenting far more with food, trying lots of new recipes. 31% said that they are opting for more healthy meals, and 23% said that they were eating more vegan and vegetarian meals than they did before the pandemic. We are also being a lot more conscientious about our food waste – when it’s not always easy to negotiate a grocery shop, we are making the most of our leftovers.
Lockdown and COVID-19 have certainly changed the way that we eat. Home cooking has become far more of a way of life, and we are spending far more time in the kitchen.