National COVID-19 Food Study

In March 2020, the Governing bodies of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland introduced a series of public health restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. During this period researchers within the Institute along with colleagues at Dublin City University conducted a study to try and understand the impact COVID-19 restrictions were having on our food availability and the choices that we made during this time. Using an online-only survey in accordance with social distancing, the study gathered information on changes in food and drink behaviours among adults in Ireland during the Covid-19 restrictions.

The main findings of the study were:

  • Almost one-in-three reported weight gain
  • 25-44 age group more susceptible to ‘COVID kilos’
  • One-in-five worried about having enough food
  • Charities saw an increase in families in need of food
  • Children were acutely exposed to experiencing hunger in the absence of school meals

Full Report can be found here

Summary Findings  can be found here

Press Release  can be found here

The Institute's Dr Emma Feeney, Assistant Professor in food science and nutrition at UCD and one of the researchers involved in the National COVID-19 Food Study, will deliver a presentation about the findings at the Universitas 21 Health Sciences Group Annual Meeting 2020 on August 27th at 4pm. Registration is free. Find out more here