Women were more likely to crave comfort foods in response to stress during the pandemic, a new study suggests.
A study published in the journal “Appetite,” found that the stress-induced pandemic resulted in higher consumption of sugar and fatty foods, particularly among women (iStock).
The study, published in the journal “Appetite,” found that the stress-induced pandemic resulted in higher consumption of sugar and fatty foods, particularly among women.
The study, led Allan Geliebter, a psychologist at the Department of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, analyzed a small sample of 31 participants comprised of 16 men and 15 women. The research took place 14 months before and during the coronavirus pandemic looking at nutritional intake for each individual on randomized days – two weekdays and one weekend.
Researchers looked at calorie intake from solid foods such as fruits and vegetables along with snack food and sodas and cited previous research that suggests women are more likely to have a higher intake of sugar and saturated fat than men and were likely to consume more as a response to stress.
“These changes are likely due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, including stay-at-home orders, decreased job security, anxiety about exposure to the virus, and food shortages,” researchers noted in the study, explaining: “These stress-inducing conditions may have induced females to consume more energy-dense foods but apparently did not influence the males in the same way.”
While the study only analyzed a small sample of men and women, Americans across the country have been indulging more during the pandemic. A separate study conducted by OnePoll that asked 2,000 Americans about their eating habits found three-quarters were eating higher-calorie foods like ice cream and candy while in isolation.