University of Maine Cooperative Extension; the National Food Access and COVID Research Team
Through a survey conducted in 2020, we investigated changes in eating, shopping, and dietary behaviors of Maine adults by age group before COVID-19 (prior to March 2020) and during COVID-19 (August/September 2020). This investigation was part of a larger investigation to assess food security, access, and food systems during COVID-19.6 The survey was conducted in Maine between August and September 2020 and illustrates responses from a sample of 618 Maine adults aged 18 years and older. Findings include:
- Respondents who were 55 years and older were less likely to reduce fruit, vegetable and seafood consumption during COVID-19.
Respondents in all age groups reported eating less processed and red meat during COVID-19 compared to before COVID-19.
Respondents who were over 55 years of age were less likely to turn to food to cope with the stress of COVID-19.
Respondents who were 55 years and older were more likely than respondents in other age groups to purchase local foods both prior to COVID-19 and since the onset of the pandemic. However, self-reported purchased local foods decreased since COVID-19 began.
Respondents across all age groups that were more likely to choose vegetarian meals prior to the pandemic were more likely to continue to do so since the pandemic started.
Schattman, Rachel E. and Yerxa, Kathryn, "Shopping, Eating, and Dietary Behaviors of Maine Adults as a Result of COVID-19: A Focus on Older Adults" (2021). Food Science and Human Nutrition Faculty Scholarship. 4.
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