Research Impact: Common images going around during the spring lockdown were empty aisles of toilet roll and empty streets. The panic shopping extended beyond the rush to buy toilet paper but also for hording food to avoid future visits to shops. As people stopped going out to work, children stopped going to schools, there was a risky time for increase food intake, and reduced energy expenditure. With food stocked up, over-eating during lockdown could lead to weight gain and this study examined the eating behaviours of 875 adults in the UK. In particular, changes in consumption of high energy dense (HED) sweet and savoury foods are investigated. Half of the respondents reported increases in food intake during the lockdown, and individuals with low control of their cravings or low cognitive restraint ate more HED foods. Other psychological factors such as enjoyment of food, emotional under-eating and over eating, were not predictors for consumption of HED foods. Therefore, more support or interventions could be targeted for individuals with low craving control. The findings also are important for physical activity researchers as a greater energy imbalance was experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Buckland, N.J., Swinnerton, L.F., Ng, K., Price, M., Wilkinson, L.L., Myers, A., & Dalton. Susceptibility to increased high energy dense sweet and savoury food intake in response to the COVID-19 lockdown: The role of craving control and acceptance coping strategies. Appetite, Volume 158, 1 March 2021. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2020.105017