An Evaluation of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Perceived Social Distancing Policies in Relation to Planning, Selecting, and Preparing Healthy Meals: An Observational Study in 38 Countries Worldwide

Charlotte De Backer, Lauranna Teunissen, Isabelle Cuykx, Paulien Decorte, Sara Pabian, Sarah Gerristen, Christophe Matthys, Haleama Al Sabbah, Kathleen Van Royen, Corona Cooking Survey Study Group, Klaus G. Grunert, Rikke Nyland Christensen, Lucia A. Reisch, Meike Janssen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To examine changes in planning, selecting, and preparing healthy foods in relation to personal factors (time, money, stress) and social distancing policies during the COVID-19 crisis. Methods: Using cross-sectional online surveys collected in 38 countries worldwide in April-June 2020 (N = 37,207, Mage 36.7 SD 14.8, 77% women), we compared changes in food literacy behaviors to changes in personal factors and social distancing policies, using hierarchical multiple regression analyses controlling for sociodemographic variables. Results: Increases in planning (4.7 SD 1.3, 4.9 SD 1.3), selecting (3.6 SD 1.7, 3.7 SD 1.7), and preparing (4.6 SD 1.2, 4.7 SD 1.3) healthy foods were found for women and men, and positively related to perceived time availability and stay-at-home policies. Psychological distress was a barrier for women, and an enabler for men. Financial stress was a barrier and enabler depending on various sociodemographic variables (all p < 0.01). Conclusion: Stay-at-home policies and feelings of having more time during COVID-19 seem to have improved food literacy. Stress and other social distancing policies relate to food literacy in more complex ways, highlighting the necessity of a health equity lens.
Original languageEnglish
Article number621726
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Volume7
Number of pages11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Food literacy
  • Food planning
  • Food preparation
  • Food selection
  • Nutrition
  • COVID-19
  • Psychological distress
  • Time availability

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