Americans change eating habits in pandemic for the better — and worse

Health News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A study by a New Mexico State University Public Health professor suggests the American diet is getting better for some and worsening for others amid the pandemic.

Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, Public Health professor at NMSU, explained that food security before the pandemic was an issue for 10 percent to 15 precent of American population, but that number has now grown to about 20 percent.

His study reveals 32 percent of population reported their diet improving and eating healthier.

“In bigger cities, people are not commuting anymore, so they are at home and they are cooking more,” said Khubchandani. “But there are some people that are all the same, and some have fallen down because there is more stress and now it’s worse for them.”

For others, the pandemic has greatly affected food availability and their eating habits. The study reported that for 31 percent of the population, their diet has become worse.

Fasting, eating restrictions, skipping meals or overeating were bad eating habits mostly caused by stress and food insecurity, according to Khubchandani.

“If you sit at home all day and you are essentially living like a prisoner, naturally, food becomes your coping mechanism,” said Khubchandani.

He said for about one-third of the population, eating habits have stayed the same.

He suggested portion control and physical activity as solutions for bettering your health, but also looking for incorporating fruit and vegetables whenever possible, especially if available in local food banks.

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