Study underway into changed eating habits during lockdown

Off-licence sales were up by 40 per cent in the four weeks leading up to April 5th

Deliveroo cyclists pass by boarded up premises on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Deliveroo cyclists pass by boarded up premises on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Researchers at UCD and DCU are conducting a survey into how we are eating and drinking during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is already solid evidence that we are drinking more at home than usual, albeit at a time when pubs and clubs are closed.

Off-licence sales were up by 40 per cent in the four weeks leading up to April 5th which were the first four weeks of the lockdown.

There has been also been a run on bread flour with Tesco alone announcing last week that it sold 600,000 bags of flour in a single week during the pandemic, a 300 per cent increase.

The UCD Institute of Food and Health has launched the National Covid-19 Food Study, in collaboration with DCU.

It will use an online-only survey in accordance with social distancing. The study will gather information on changes in food and drink behaviours among adults in Ireland since the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions.

UCD assistant professor in public health nutrition Dr Celine Murrin said they were interested in studying patterns of eating and drinking at a time when “modern day Ireland has never experienced such a shock to how we live and how we manage our daily food intake”.

She said the information provided will help researchers understand how the economy might prepare for future shocks.

The study will take the form of an anonymous online survey at covidfood.ie, which is open to anyone over the age of 18 living on the island of Ireland.

It is also possible to do the survey over the phone and anyone with a landline can avail of this option by emailing foodandhealth@ucd.ie.

UCD assistant professor in food science and nutrition Dr Sharleen O’Reilly said the survey will give a “unique snapshot” of what people are consuming at a very stressful time.

“ We want to understand the food differences for someone living on a farm in Fermoy compared to someone living in a bedsit in Baldoyle. ”