Food Selection and Consumption During the COVID-19 Pandemic/Quarantine
Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Research Reports 2021
Background: The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) created an unexpected outbreak that led to a pandemic and the fear of scarcity regarding food. Due to those who shopped in panic, grocery stores began to limit the number of specific items purchased per family. The COVID-19 is a novel disease that has changed society by wearing face-coverings when out in public, temporarily closing indoor dining at restaurants, and converting schools online. The over-purchase of toilet paper and water caused many grocery and department stores to exhaust their inventory. This situation may have instilled fear of scarcity and leave to the over-purchase of other items, such as meat products and rice.
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to determine if there was a significant change in food selection, food practices, and consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic/quarantine.
Methods: The anonymous online survey was created via Qualtrics, and we recruited all eight schools (students, facility, and staff) from Loma Linda University to join. The invitation was also posted to social media and by word of mouth. Participants should be 18 years or older and be responsible for buying groceries for family or themselves to join the survey. After completion, participants could sign up for an interview if they wanted to provide in-depth information on the changes in grocery shopping habits during the COVID-19. We randomly selected 10 out of the first 20 participants from the sign-up list.
Results: Three hundred and twenty adults (232 females, 85 males, and three prefer not to say), with mean age 30.9 ± 10.7 years, attempted to complete an anonymous survey via Qualtrics. Eleven of the participants did not complete the anonymous survey; therefore, n=309. Grocery shopping practices changed during the COVID-19 pandemic/quarantine. The majority of participants (68.4%) responded “yes,” they have noticed a change in their grocery practices during the pandemic/quarantine. The chi-square independence test showed a statistically significant association between grocery shopping practices with emergency food kit preparation (p = 0.006) and the change of their appetite/diet pattern under stress (p = 0.018).
Conclusion: This research may help shape society’s shopping habits to become well-prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic and future occurrences. Dietitians are responsible for increasing public health awareness regarding nutrition to optimize health during a biothreat outbreak. Dietitians can educate the public on a variety of foods for sustainability during global emergencies. We can become well-prepared to improve response strategies during global emergencies and future occurrences. Being well-prepared may reduce stress and anxiety, essential for wellness to enhance health and life quality.
Nutrition and Dietetics
Nutrition and Dietetics
School of Allied Health Professions
Master of Science (MS)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Grocery shopping; Pandemics; Food security.
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Debaun, Shawnyse and Lau, Pui Tan, "Food Selection and Consumption During the COVID-19 Pandemic/Quarantine" (2021). Loma Linda University Research Reports. 25.
Loma Linda University Research Reports
Loma Linda University. University Libraries.