The situation caused by the coronavirus crisis increased the percentage of healthy food on our daily menus. This is shown in a study carried out by the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition (SENC). These changes are closely linked to the living conditions of the confinement itself. The question now is whether this change is here to stay. The study shows that the part of the population under analysis consumed more healthy foods and had a lower intake of products with low nutritional content. In addition, people cooked at home more.
According to Carmen Pérez Rodrigo, the person in charge of the study, “many people have increased their intake of fruit, vegetables, fish and legumes. Logically, spending time at home with the opportunity to cook has encouraged this, but it hasn’t just been for fun or to be trendy. I think this is very good news because it reflects the fact that many people are aware of the importance of paying attention to what we eat, and that this influences our health and well-being”.
Between 25 and 35 percent of people surveyed say they have consumed less salty snacks, biscuits, baked goods, sweetened drinks and fermented alcoholic beverages. In the case of high-volume alcoholic beverages, this percentage reaches 44 percent. On the contrary, between 20 and 27 percent report that they have increased their intake of fish, vegetables, fruit and legumes. Data from the study can be consulted here.
The results obtained cannot be generalised because the analysis was carried out using a convenience sample recruited via the Internet between 21st April and 8th May. However, the trends observed coincide with information provided during this same period by different chains in the food distribution sector. This provides an immediate view of the impact of confinement on individual eating habits, although the influence of socio-economic determinants could not be assessed.
The Spanish Society for Community Nutrition, chaired by Carmen Pérez, has launched a second survey to assess whether or not these changes experienced during confinement are maintained as people gradually go back to their normal activities.
More information about the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition can be found here.