Sometimes at the beginning of 2020, the world faced a massive crisis, and society as a whole descended into chaos. Everywhere, stores were shutting down, and masks were going up. Every family was locked away from the rest of the world, and we began to lead a new life, one that no one would have imagined in a million years. This crisis not only affected the health of people, but also took a toll on their psychological well-being, and led to the creation of a lifestyle we now refer to as the “new normal”.
Eating Habits And Life Changes During Covid-19 Pandemic
Amidst all of this chaos and uncertainty, the one thing that kept us all sane was food. Most of us seek the support of comfort foods when faced with a challenging situation, and the coronavirus pandemic will quite famously go down in history as one of the most challenging situations ever. As we turned to food as our new divine power, there was a shift in the trends surrounding food consumption.
As governments ordered the closure of big stores and set in guidelines for citizens to remain at home, the daily trip to the grocery shop was halted. Not only did this lead to stockpiling of foods, but it also reduced the purchase of fresh fruits.
While grocery delivery companies were allowed to function, the looming threat that was involved with coming in contact with delivery men made this too a less convenient option. As a result, people began to hoard large amounts of packaged foods and strayed away from items that has a minimum shelf life.
This decrease in the consumption of perishable products meant that our intake of fresh fruits and vegetables went down, which signals a looming health crisis due to a lack of our nutrient intake. This downward trend in the purchase of fruits and vegetables was also a great source of concern for small vegetable vendors, who had to resort to other means of income to keep themselves alive.
As people started to look for foods that would last them for the months that they would have to spend in captivity, they took to packaged goods. This involved savory dishes like chips and pretzels and sweets like candy and ice cream, among others. While these served the purpose of not having to leave our homes, they also lead to a decrease in our physical well-being, as most of these packaged goods have little or no nutritional value.
Aside from buying habits, we also have to factor in the psychological issues that people faced over the course of this pandemic. The number of people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders has been on the rise. Since most people have little or no access to therapy, they indulged in comfort foods. Drowning your feelings in a load of ice cream, chips, and soft drinks is something we have all done at some point, but over the pandemic, this became a habitual ritual and has led to an increase in the purchase of junk food.
Another important factor to consider is the fact that as everything shuts down throughout the world, people suddenly had more time on their hands. This led to boredom, during which time people again sought junk food or other snacks of less nutritional value. This increase in the snacking habits of people contributed to huge sales for products like chips, chocolate, and other ready-made food items. While these items may have satiated our boredom for a short period of time, the effect of increased snacking is sure to leave its imprints on our bodies well into the future.
Perhaps as you read this article, you can recall the many hours you spent walking over to the fridge to look for snacks of the time you spend binge-eating while you binge-watched a show on Netflix. Well, if it’s any comfort, you were not alone. Most people admitted to increased levels of snacking and seeking the help of food to escape the drudging monotony that the coronavirus pandemic had forced on our lives. Quite a few people also experienced a relapse in binge-eating disorders, due to which they upped their intake of high-calorie food items.
The truth is, while some people did take this pandemic as an opportunity to change their lives and fix their eating habits, most people have expressed that either by choice or due to the number of cases around their locality, they simply rejected grocery shopping and relied on food products that can be preserved over a longer time period. And while most of us may have gone through many bags of chips and numerous cans of sodas during the covid-19 pandemic, there is still hope. As the world gears up to open up again and get ready to back to the old ways, we too should find it in us to lead a healthier lifestyle and make better food choices.