How eating and shopping habits have changed in the pandemic

Posted at 5:32 AM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 06:24:45-04

(WXYZ) — Some might call it stress-eating or just passing time, but for many Americans, we packed on some pandemic pounds and changed our eating habits last year.

A recent Consumer Reports survey found that about 80% of Americans say they've made at least one change in the food they eat or the way they source or prepare it, and those changes could have an impact of their health.

32% of people say they've gained weight since the start of the pandemic.

“When people have less structure in their day and more access to the kitchen, it can lead to more snacking and nibbling, and weight gain. Make it easy for yourself to grab healthy foods by planning out your meals and snacks in advance," Consumer Reports Investigative Editor Rachel Rabkin-Peachman said.

Another trend is supermarket shortages, leading to spikes in food prices, and stay-at-home orders leading many people to find alternatives to going to the grocery store. 49% of people said they used a grocery delivery or pick-up service, up 27% from before the pandemic.

“For many people, this also sparked the question, where does my food come from? Consumers started to search out local farm stands, community-sponsored agriculture programs, and many even started their own gardens," Rabkin-Peachman said.

Some research suggests that gardening can increase mental well-being, something we could all use a little more of right now.

While some people have had too much, others have experienced food insecurity.

According to the survey, one in five American grocery shoppers had to turn to a food bank since the start of the pandemic.