Table_1_Household Food Dynamics and Food System Resilience Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-National Comparison of China and the United States.DOCX (93.26 kB)
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Table_1_Household Food Dynamics and Food System Resilience Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-National Comparison of China and the United States.DOCX

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posted on 12.01.2021, 04:47 authored by Zhengxia Dou, Darko Stefanovski, David Galligan, Margaret Lindem, Paul Rozin, Ting Chen, Ariana M. Chao

The COVID-19 pandemic is a “perfect storm” that is testing the resilience and functional stability of the food system, as it ultimately affects household food dynamics and consumer food experiences. This cross-national survey-based study examined in real time how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted food-centric matters in 1,732 Chinese and 1,547 U.S. households during the stay-at-home directives. Both cohorts reported increased efficiency in the use of food, families spending more time cooking and eating together, and more prudent use of food with less waste. Food purchasing patterns shifted from frequent trips to the store to dramatic increases in online ordering. A small proportion (2% U.S. and 11% Chinese respondents) reported clinically significant weight gains of >4.5 kg. Household food security weakened, with large increases in people worrying about or experiencing food shortage. Collective grocery-shopping experiences by survey respondents indicated that the functional stability of food supply systems remained steady; all food types were somewhat available, except for noticeably higher prices widely reported by the Chinese cohort. This study offers insights into food system resilience when facing the pandemic and sheds light on future food patterns as well as long-term questions for additional research about how people make decisions and food behavioral changes at times of crisis.

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