The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed lives across the world in just over a year – some are now working from home permanently, others have lost their jobs and nearly everyone has been affected by the stress of the pandemic. In South Africa, the virus has reportedly changed our eating habits, with 49% of people reporting that they have gained weight during the lockdown.
More than four-fifths of South Africans said that their food consumption and eating habits changed during the lockdown period, according to the State of Nutrition Report, which was conducted by the World Food Programme, a subsidiary of the United Nations.
While 49% of respondents said they had gained weight, a further 45% said they had become more health-conscious during the period. Portion control was another issue many respondents noted.
Tiger Brands commented on the study, which found that gyms were closed during lockdown levels 5 and 4 and outdoor exercise was also not permitted, as we were confined to our homes to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“By far the majority cooked food for themselves more than they did before lockdown. That’s quite a positive story. Although people are cooking for themselves, there’s a big job to be done around understanding what good nutrition means. That ultimately points to what you’re buying and what goes on your plate,” said Sarvesh Seetaram, director of group marketing strategy at Tiger Brands, to KFM.