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COVID Kai survey results: what did NZers consume during lockdown?

EDOR members Dr Lisa Te Morenga and Dr Jill Haszard are co-authors on a new publication reporting the results of the COVID Kai survey, which aimed to determine how the diet of New Zealanders changed during the seven week lockdown in March-May 2020.

The Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand article showed that despite more home cooking, there was an overall shift toward an unhealthy dietary pattern, with increased consumption of sweet snacks (41%), salty snacks (33%), alcohol (33%), and sugary drinks (20%). Adults aged under 50 years were the most likely to report adverse changes to their eating behaviours and diet.

The authors suggest that future pandemic responses by government and employers should include public health nutrition policies, and help to mitigate the stress for younger adults and those caring for children at home. Dr Lisa Te Morenga commented on this aspect in the NZ Herald:

"Public health advice could include the importance of nutrition for immunity, how to prepare healthy home-cooked meals, and tips to avoid eating in response to stress."

Good nutrition also lowers the risk of conditions such as obesity and diabetes.  The presence of these diseases has been shown to worsen the progression of COVID-19 in many people around the world.

Read the survey results

Seven weeks of home-cooked meals: changes to New Zealanders’ grocery shopping, cooking and eating during the COVID-19 lockdown, The Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, COVID-19 supplement, 18 November, 2020

View the news articles

Eat too much junk food over lockdown? You weren't alone, NZ Herald, 18 November, 2020

Further information

Led by Dr Sarah Gerritsen at the University of Auckland, COVID Kai was part of a world-wide survey on how cooking and eating habits changed during the first wave of COVID-19.

Read more about the COVID Kai survey