“You eat out of boredom and stress,” a nineteen year-old from Sheffield proclaimed online early in the lockdown, “there’s nothing else to do.”
And so it has come to pass. The British Nutrition Foundation’s survey shows just what happens when there’s ‘nothing else to do’.
According to the BNF’s survey 63% of people in Britain attribute boredom, and 45% of people attribute stress, anxiety and tiredness as being one of their main reasons for eating less healthily than usual during lockdown. Nearly half of people (48%) say not feeling motivated enough to eat well is one of their key reasons.
Hunger pangs can strike at any time of the day! And while eating out was not possible, satisfying those cravings meant seeking unhealthy options. The problem is eating unhealthy food continuously overtaxes the digestive system because whatever you put in your body, it has to process it and foods that are high in salt and sugar increase our urge to eat more.
The food industry will get blamed for this outcome, however the lockdown did lead many to return to the simple joys of cooking from scratch, which the food industry does help to promote.
A rise in home cooking/baking is not surprising. Food plays more than the obvious important part in people’s lives – who doesn’t want to be creative and in charge, to some degree, of what they eat?
People had to rethink their consumption habits and their cooking time during the lockdown. In France, Italy, China and New Zealand, for example, half the population say they have spent more time cooking since the beginning of the quarantine, according to a study conducted by GlobalWebIndex about the impact of coronavirus on people’s habits. Although this trend is less strong on a global scale and affects around a third of people, it is nonetheless significant and shows that quarantine was an opportunity to return to basics, by strengthening an already existing, albeit dormant, passion.
The challenge for the food and drink sector is for everyone to see their love of healthy creation as a commitment to the future as well as them being given the opportunity to continue a number of well-founded activities beyond the pandemic.
- Rodney Jack, editor, Food & Drink Technology.
Keep in touch via email: [email protected]
Twitter: @foodanddrinktec or LinkedIn: Food & Drink Technology magazine.