Part Seven: The impact of COVID-19 on food habits

Milan DinicResearch Manager
April 20, 2022, 9:23 AM GMT+0

More Britons report that the quality of their diet has improved (24%) than worsened (16%) since the coronavirus pandemic began in the UK in March 2020. For the majority (58%) the quality of their diet has stayed the same, the YouGov Food Study finds.

Britons aged 16-24 are most likely to say that their diet has become better: 35% compared to 16-28% in other age groups. Young men are twice as likely as young women to say their diet has become ‘significantly’ better: 14% vs 6%.

Among Britons under 60, between 17% and 21% say their diet has worsened, compared to only 8% of those aged 60 and older.

The YouGov Food Study finds that since the pandemic began in the UK more Britons say they have improved their diet and focused on eating healthily than those who say they eat less healthily.

In terms of the changes in their food practices brought about by the pandemic, more Britons say they have decreased the number of takeaways they order (22% who say they decreased vs 14% who have increased), they eat less junk food (19% who have decreased vs 12% who have increased), eat fewer sweets (20% vs 12%), have less tinned food (12% vs 6%), eat less meat (14% vs 5%), consume fewer sugary drinks (20% vs 6%), and make fewer ready-made meals (21% vs 6%).

One in five (19%) Britons say they eat more vegetables and pay more attention to the nutritional value of their food (compared to 6% who say the opposite).One in four (26%) say they cook more from scratch (compared to 9% who cook less often from scratch). Cooking more from scratch particularly jumped among those under 40 – 33-38% do this more now.

Before the pandemic, half (50%) of Britons said they were likely to share their food with a close friend when eating out. This has now dropped to four in ten (41%).

Four in ten Britons say they are unlikely to share their food with a friend (41%), higher than the 33% who claim they held this stance prior to the pandemic.

The percentage of Britons who say they would never share their food is the same in both questions, at 10%.

See full results here

Explore more data & articles