In a new study from USC, researchers found more than half of Los Angeles County residents made changes to their diet during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than a quarter of them reporting that they ate more healthily.
In the study, the team used data from the Understanding Coronavirus in America survey conducted by the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research along with information from L.A. County officials and other sources.
They found about 28% of residents said they had improved their diets by eating more fruits and vegetables and less processed food; however, nearly a quarter of respondents reported that the quality of their diet had decreased.
Young adults, people with children in their household and those with health conditions such as obesity were some of the groups that were more likely to have made unhealthy dietary shifts.
In addition, people experiencing food insecurity were as likely to make healthy shifts as unhealthy ones.
The team says that the indication that households with children had more unhealthy diets was worrying.
Eating is a very habitual behavior, and the COVID-19 pandemic led people to adopt different daily routines.
The key now, according to the team, is to figure out how to keep the healthy habits going after the end of the pandemic, and how to switch the eating routines of people whose diets have declined.
Some issues—like the lack of grocery stores in parts of town and the comparatively high price of fruits and vegetables—are long-standing ones, but there are some ways individuals and communities can help shift eating behaviors.
If you care about nutrition, please read studies about this diet could help reduce high blood pressure in older people and findings of this diet cuts non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by half.
For more information about food and your health, please see recent studies about this nutrient in your diet may help fight depression and results showing that this diet may help reduce type 2 diabetes.
The study is published in Appetite. One author of the study is Sydney Miller.
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