Food Insecurity, Consumer Habits, & Chronic Disease in the First Months of the COVID-19 Crisis (2022)

In August 2020, the Institute for Hunger Research & Solutions at Connecticut Foodshare
surveyed over 500 people in Hartford and Tolland Counties to better understand changes
in food access and food security during the beginning months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consistent with findings of other COVID-era studies, our results indicate that food insecurity and nutrition-related diseases were associated with higher variability in diet composition, reduced diet quality, and altered adaptability to market changes. Respondents who were food insecure and those with household members diagnosed with a nutrition related disease reported decreased consumption of healthful foods and increased consumption of foods high in saturated fats, sodium, and sugar. Challenges with accessing food during the pandemic, particularly for those experiencing food insecurity, highlights the negative relationship between hunger and health. This study was a collaboration with the National Food Access and COVID Research Team, a group of researchers around the country dedicated to better understanding food systems during this pandemic.