Eating Our Way Through the Pandemic

Consumer Reports looks at how our eating habits have changed since the start of the pandemic.

NBC Universal, Inc.

At the pandemic’s start, many of us stumbled into new ways of eating, cooking more at home and maybe snacking more throughout the day since our refrigerators and pantries were close by.

Almost a year in, Consumer Reports examined how the pandemic has changed eating habits and has some advice on how to get consumers can get their health back on track if necessary.

Eating well is especially vital during the pandemic because obesity, heart disease and diabetes increase the risk of COVID-19 complications.

Many people have put on the so-called COVID "19?” Maybe it wasn’t 19 pounds, but it's not nothing, either: According to a recent survey, 32% of people say they’ve gained weight since the start of the pandemic.

With less structure in your day, it's smart to make it easier to grab healthy foods instead of alternatives and by planning out your meals and snacks in advance.

Another trend: Early on in the pandemic, supermarket shortages, hikes in food prices and stay-at-home orders led many folks to find alternatives to going into the grocery store. Forty-nine percent of shoppers used a grocery delivery or pick-up service, up from 27% before the pandemic.

For many people, this also sparked the question, “Where does my food come from?” Consumers started to search out local farm stands and community-sponsored agriculture programs. Many ven started their own gardens.

Some research suggests that gardening can increase mental well-being, something we could all use a little more of right now.

While some have had too much, others have experienced food insecurity.

According to Consumer Report's survey, 1 in 5 American grocery shoppers has had to turn to a food bank since the start of the pandemic. If you’re considering giving to a local food bank, Consumer Reports says to prioritize cash over cans. Food banks welcome most donated food, but monetary donations let them buy food wholesale and in bulk, getting a bigger bang for your donation.

Contact Us