Boredom sparks decline in healthy eating

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Boredom, anxiety, stress and an inability to travel to supermarkets have sparked a rise in unhealthy eating during the coronavirus pandemic
Boredom, anxiety, stress and an inability to travel to supermarkets have sparked a rise in unhealthy eating during the coronavirus pandemic

Related tags: coronavirus

Nearly two-thirds of people in Britain have attributed the main reason for eating less healthily than usual during the coronavirus lockdown to boredom, according to the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF).

In a survey of 2,067 adults, conducted by YouGov, the BNF found that 63% of Brits blamed boredom for their eating habits, while 45% said stress, anxiety and tiredness were the core reasons for eschewing healthy options at the dinner table.

Beyond the above reasons, 30% of respondents claimed not being able to go to the supermarket made it more difficult to eat healthily.

Health to the forefront

Sara Stanner, science director at the BNF, said: “While the coronavirus outbreak has brought the importance of health to the forefront, the measures we’ve had to take as a nation to control the spread of the virus have made it challenging for many of us to eat well and keep active.

“With lots of us still at home more than normal, it’s easy to spend a lot of time sitting and to feel less motivated to eat healthily.”

However, 22% of respondents said that they had been eating more healthily than usual, while 50% said their habits had not changed during the lockdown. Research suggested that 17% of people had cooked at home more, while a quarter said they had been going on regular walks.

“It’s encouraging that many people are now going for regular walks to keep active, are taking time to plan what they eat, and are trying new recipes,” ​Stanner added.

Key priorities

“People are also clearly looking to improve their health as the lockdown measures ease, with getting active, losing weight and eating healthily all cited as key priorities.”

Managing director and head of education at the BNF Roy Ballam said that, after three months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Great British public could use some encouragement and inspiration.

“Our aim is to provide everyone with support – from parents at home looking for activities to do with their children, to those who are working from home and need some new ideas to incorporate healthy eating into their day,” ​Ballam concluded.

Meanwhile, vegan diets have become more attractive to consumers during the Covid-19 pandemic​ and, in particular, to a quarter (25%) of young British Millennials (aged 21-30), new research from Mintel has revealed.

Related topics: Obesity, COVID-19, Environment

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