Predictors of COVID-19-related perceived improvements in dietary health: Results from a us cross-sectional study

Kelly Cosgrove, Christopher Wharton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in substantial lifestyle changes. No US study has identified predictors of perceived dietary healthfulness changes during the pandemic period. This study included analyses of lifestyle and dietary healthfulness changes using 958 survey responses from US primary household food purchasers. Information was collected related to demographics, COVID-19-related household changes, and health-related habits before and during the pandemic. Binary logistic regression identified predictors of perceived increase in dietary healthfulness during the pandemic period. Overall, 59.8%, 16.4%, and 23.4% of participants reported that their eating habits likely changed, may have changed, and likely did not change, respectively. Of the participants whose dietary habits likely or may have changed, 64.1%, 16.8%, and 19% reported healthier, neither healthier nor less healthy, and less healthy eating habits, respectively. COVID-19-related income loss, more meals consumed with household members in front of the television, an increase in food advertisement exposure, increased perceived stress, and better perceived current health were significant predictors of a perceived increase in dietary healthfulness. Overall, dietary habits were perceived to become healthier during the pandemic. The predictors of perceived improvement in dietary healthfulness were surprising and indicate the need for further study of these factors in crisis and noncrisis situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2097
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Diet
  • Health
  • Lifestyle
  • Nutrition
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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