(Press-News.org) Rockville, Maryland (June 7, 2021) -- As COVID-19 spread throughout the world, our daily routines and behaviors changed drastically. A new study of more than 2,000 people in the U.S. found that the pandemic has also affected how we eat. The authors found a decrease in the consumption of many food groups, particularly healthy foods such as vegetables and whole grains, compared to before the pandemic.
"When the pandemic began, we saw panic buying, problems in the food supply chain, increases in food prices and rising unemployment rates," said Caroline Um, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the American Cancer Society. "All these factors can affect access to food, and we wanted to find out if and in what way people's diets were changing."
Um will present the new findings as part of NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE, a virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN).
"We were surprised to see decreased consumption for a lot of the healthy foods," said Um. "This decrease was the most pronounced among women, black and Latino study participants, and participants who gained at least five pounds or more since 2018."
The new research was based on participants in the Cancer Prevention Study 3 (CPS-3), which enrolled over 300,000 men and women from across the country beginning in 2006. Starting in 2015, participants completed surveys every three years that assessed diet through a validated food frequency questionnaire or a food group questionnaire. In 2020, the researchers enrolled 2,335 participants in a pilot test for a new online portal for the CPS-3 study that included a COVID survey.
"We were already planning to launch this online portal, but when the pandemic began, we decided to incorporate a new COVID survey," said Um. "In addition to asking about the consumption of major food groups, the survey also asked about other COVID-related aspects such as how the pandemic has affected their physical and mental health, access to healthcare, and financial security."
The researchers administered the COVID survey in July and August of 2020 and compared the results with responses from the 2018 food group questionnaire, before the pandemic began. Interestingly, most participants indicated that they thought their consumption of all the food groups included in the survey had not changed during the pandemic, showing that perception doesn't always match up with calculated results.
The researchers note that the pandemic isn't yet over and there are still many factors affecting food availability and access for many Americans. "It's possible that the shift in consumption of fewer healthy foods will continue," said Um. "This could raise the risk of gaining weight and thus increase risk for various chronic diseases."
Um adds that it is important to gain a better understanding of why these changes are occurring and why they may be more pronounced in certain populations so that interventions can be developed to stop the shifts toward unhealthy eating and to prevent this from happening in the future should a similar situation ever occur again.
The researchers are continuing to follow up with study participants to understand how diets continue to change. They are also planning studies that will examine specific psycho-social factors -- such as mental health or financial stressors -- that might be involved in the changing eating behaviors.
Um will present this research on-demand at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE during the Recent Investigations of Public Health Nutrition and COVID-19 in Developed Countries session from noon on Monday, June 7 through 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 10 (abstract; presentation details).
Please note that abstracts presented at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE were evaluated and selected by a committee of experts but have not generally undergone the same peer review process required for publication in a scientific journal. As such, the findings presented should be considered preliminary until a peer-reviewed publication is available.
About NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE
NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE, held June 7-10, 2021 is a dynamic virtual event showcasing new research findings and timely discussions on food and nutrition. Scientific symposia explore hot topics including clinical and translational nutrition, food science and systems, global and public health, population science and cellular and physiological nutrition and metabolism. https://meeting.nutrition.org #NutritionLiveOnline
About the American Society for Nutrition (ASN)
ASN is the preeminent professional organization for nutrition research scientists and clinicians around the world. Founded in 1928, the society brings together the top nutrition researchers, medical practitioners, policy makers and industry leaders to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition. ASN publishes four peer-reviewed journals and provides education and professional development opportunities to advance nutrition research, practice and education. http://www.nutrition.org
Find more news briefs and tipsheets at: https://www.eurekalert.org/meetings/nutrition/2021/newsroom. Watch on-demand
sessions, view posters and more by registering for a END
Concerned youths worldwide today delivered a policy vision for policy-makers to address the declining state of the world's ocean.
A carbon neutral economy, preserving biodiversity, achieving sustainable seafood production, and reforming ocean governance are the four fundamental pillars supporting policy recommendations debuted in the Global Blue New Deal, an ocean policy framework built around crowd-sourced youth priorities.
"Healthy oceans are essential to human survival and well-being, and environmental health must be a global priority as we recover from the pandemic and build a sustainable blue economy," says Mark Haver, Chair of the Sustainable Ocean Alliance's Youth Policy Advisory Council.
He and 14 fellow Young Ocean Leaders ...
During his time at EPFL under the Erasmus program, Romain van Wassenhove came up with an idea for a connector that could be used to make modular structures out of sustainable bamboo rather than wood, plastic or metal. "I wanted to focus my Master's on a topic that had meaning to me and that would lead to a concrete application," he says. "Working with bamboo was something I already had in mind while I was studying in Brussels." His connectors can be 3D-printed in biosourced plastic and are customizable to the type of material used for the structure.
Van Wassenhove got the idea for his connector during a class at EPFL on composite materials and developed the concept further through his Master's project, co-directed at EPFL by Senior Scientist Anastasios Vassilopoulos and by associate ...
Scientists from the University of Graz (Austria), Skoltech and their colleagues from the US and Germany have developed a new neural network that can reliably detect coronal holes from space-based observations. This application paves the way for more reliable space weather predictions and provides valuable information for the study of the solar activity cycle. The paper was published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Much like our life on Earth depends on the light of the Sun, our electronic "life" depends on the activity of our closest star and its interactions with Earth's magnetic field. For the ...
Carbon loss in Canadian peatland is projected to increase by 103 per cent under a high emission scenario, according to new research led by scientists from the University of Waterloo.
The results of the study, which was published today in Nature's Communications Earth & Environment journal, reinforces the urgent need for a comprehensive understanding of peatlands as evolving sources of atmospheric CO2 in a warming world.
Peatlands, which are a type of wetland, are some of the most valuable ecosystems globally. In addition to their role in preserving biodiversity and minimizing ...
Older Chinese immigrants who adjust to their new cultural environment by learning the language, following the country's media and socializing with local residents can reduce acculturation gap with their adult children and protect their cognitive function, according to a Rutgers study.
The study, published in the journal Aging and Mental Health, is one of the first to explore the relationship between intergenerational families, acculturation and cognitive function among older Chinese Americans.
Researchers looked 2,900 Chinese Americans over age 60 who had at least one child and who participated in the PINE Study, an epidemiological study of older Chinese Americans. They analyzed three areas of acculturation - language, media use and ethnic social relations - and how they corresponded ...
What's as long a basketball court, taller than a b-double and has just stomped into the record books as Australia's largest dinosaur? It's time to meet Australotitan cooperensis - a new species of giant sauropod dinosaur from Eromanga, southwest Queensland.
Australotitan, "the southern titan", has been scientifically described and named by Queensland Museum and Eromanga Natural History Museum palaeontologists.
It is estimated to have reached a height of 5-6.5 metres at the hip and 25- 30 metres in length and sits within the top 10-15 largest dinosaurs world-wide, representing Australia's entry into the largest species to have ever walked the Earth.
The fossilised skeleton was originally nicknamed 'Cooper' after Cooper Creek, ...
An international team of scientists led from the Centre for Astrobiology (CAB, CSIC-INTA), with participation from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has used the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) to study a representative sample of galaxies, both disc and spheroidal, in a deep sky zone in the constellation of the Great Bear to characterize the properties of the stellar populations of galactic bulges. The researchers have been able to determine the mode of formation and development of these galactic structures. The results of this study were recently published in The Astrophysical Journal.
The researchers focused their study on massive disc and spheroidal galaxies, using imaging data from ...
Bad sleep causes severe health issues and affects our ability to concentrate, memorize, and cope with challenging situations. Individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and intellectual disability, frequently suffer from sleep problems. However, little is known about their underlying mechanisms. In Science Advances, a Dutch-American research team, coordinated by Radboudumc, now describes how these problems can arise. Mimicking two genetic causes of autism in fruit flies, they uncovered that flies show the same sleep problems as the patients, and that the disturbed ...
Ancient chickens lived significantly longer than their modern equivalents because they were seen as sacred - not food - archaeologists have found.
Experts have developed the first reliable method of finding the age of fowl who lived thousands of years ago. Their research shows they lived to advanced ages, and were kept for ritual sacrifice or cockfighting rather than meat or egg production.
Chickens today live for a few weeks (in the UK poultry birds live for between 33 and 81 days), but during the Iron Age, Roman and Saxon period they lived up to the age of two, three or even four years old.
On Friday, 11 June, Europe's men's football teams will start the European Championship a year later than planned. The favourite this time is France with a probability of winning of 14.8 per cent. This is what an international team of researchers consisting of Andreas Groll and Franziska Popp (both TU Dortmund, Germany), Gunther Schauberger (TU Munich, Germany), Christophe Ley and Hans Van Eetvelde (both Ghent University, Belgium), Achim Zeileis (University of Innsbruck, Austria) and Lars Hvattum (Molde University College, Norway) has shown with the help of machine learning. Their forecast combines several statistical models for ...