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P070 COVID-19 Pandemic Changes in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Various Demographic Populations

      Background

      The COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions in social, economy, food security, and stress level of different individual groups. These changes can potentially impact on eating behavior of individuals with different demographic backgrounds.

      Objective

      The aim of this study was to determine which demographic categories showed more significant changes in fruit and vegetable consumption since COVID-19 pandemic.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      The study design was cross-sectional and a total of 10,035 participants aged 40-100 years old. An online survey (Dietary Screening Tool) was employed through Qualtrics between August and September 2020. Pre and since pandemic responses were analyzed by SPSS software, Wilcoxon's signed-rank tests. Participants were categorized into different groups.

      Results

      Participants were 57% female and 43% male including White (75%), African-American (14%), Asian (7%), and Hispanic (4%). The age distribution was 40-60 (38%), 61-80 (59%), and 81-100 (3%) years old. Since COVID-19, fruit consumption significantly reduced among female (P < 0.001), male (P = .02), age groups of 40-61 (P < 0.001) and 61-80 years old (P < 0.001), and race categories of Hispanic (P = 0.008) and White (P < 0.001), and all education categories (P < 0.001). Vegetables consumption also reduced among different demographic categories since COVID-19, although it was not statistically significant except in age categories of 40-60 (P = 0.002), and 81-100 (P = 0.002) years old. Interestingly, vegetable consumption remained the same since pandemic for college educated participants.

      Conclusions

      The decrease in fruit and vegetable consumption was greater in less educated participants. Nutrition education could focus on developing strategies on how to maintain fruit and vegetable consumption during crisis situations.

      Funding

      NIFA

      SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

      Supplementary data related to this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2022.04.110.

      Appendix. SUPPLEMENTARY DATA