The dietary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Date: July 2022
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 236 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Obesity; COVID-19 pandemic; Health; Diet; Nutrition Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic led to significant changes in people's budgets, the opportunity cost of their time, and where they can purchase and consume food. We use novel data on food and non-alcoholic drink purchases from stores, takeaways, restaurants and other outlets to estimate the impact of the pandemic on the diets of a large, representative panel of British households. We find that a substantial and persistent increase in calories consumed at home more than offset reductions in calories eaten out. Households increased total calories relative to pre-pandemic by 280 per adult per day from March to July 2020, and by 150 from July to the end of 2020. Although quantity increased, there was little change in diet quality over the pandemic. All socioeconomic groups increased their calorie intake, with the largest rises for the highest SES households and the smallest for retired ones. We estimate that the changes could increase the proportion of adults who are overweight by at least five percentage points, two years after the pandemic onset. Author Affiliation: (a) University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States (b) Institute for Fiscal Studies, United Kingdom (c) London School of Economics, United Kingdom * Corresponding author at: Institute for Fiscal Studies, United Kingdom. Article History: Received 29 September 2021; Revised 3 May 2022; Accepted 24 May 2022 Byline: Martin O'Connell [moconnell9@wisc.edu] (a,b), Kate Smith [kate.smith@ifs.org.uk] (*,b,c), Rebekah Stroud ( )

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A709525733