Australian adults cooked more and tried new recipes during COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns.

Margerison C, Aydin G, Larsson C, Booth A, Worsley A, Nanayakkara J

Appetite 193 (-) 107122 [2023-11-14; online 2023-11-14]

The lockdowns and restrictions due to COVID-19 caused changes in both food accessibility and availability for people around the globe resulting in changes in food habits and behaviours. To enable a better public health response to the next pandemic, lessons must be learnt from this most recent emergency. This study aimed to examine self-reported changes in food habits and behaviours, of Australian adults during COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. A cross-sectional, convenience, Australia-wide survey, with open-ended and closed-ended questions was conducted online. Respondents were asked to report their demographic characteristics, positive food habit development, worst food-related experiences, changes in food habits and behaviours and cooking and food preparation practices during the COVID-19 restriction period. Adult Australian residents, recruited through social media advertising of the survey. Respondents (n = 764) were mostly female (86%), over 55 years of age (57%, mean age (SD) 53.4 (18.1) years), and half (51%) were not in paid employment. Nearly two-thirds (63%) developed positive food habits, including trying new recipes (54%), eating less take-away (53%) and cooking from scratch (46%) during the COVID-19 restrictions. Furthermore, respondents reported including family members in food preparation and eating together as a family. Negative experiences included being unable to buy certain foods (due to lack of stock and store limits), cooking at home, and being unable to access some food outlets. Australians experienced both positive and negative food experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown periods, with most experiencing positive changes such as cooking at home from scratch and trying new recipes and relying on less take-away. Females and those who experienced a change in employment status were more likely to develop positive new food habits.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 37972657

DOI 10.1016/j.appet.2023.107122

Crossref 10.1016/j.appet.2023.107122

pii: S0195-6663(23)02584-9

Publications 9.5.0