Pandemic Changed Grocery Shopping for Rich and Poor

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By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Changes successful Americans' grocery shopping habits during the pandemic made pre-existing gaps successful entree to nutrient adjacent worse, researchers report.

While galore wealthier radical switched to online ordering and did much stocking up, astir low-income radical inactive had to store in-person astatine section tiny grocers and dollar stores and bash truthful regularly due to the fact that they couldn't spend to banal up connected groceries.

That's the uncovering of a survey that examined 2020 information connected in-person postulation astatine astir 400 market sellers successful the Columbus, Ohio, country earlier lockdown (Jan. 6 – March 15), during lockdown (March 16 – April 19) and during archetypal reopening (April 20 – May 31).

While mid- and high-end market stores and big-box nutrient retailers successful the metropolis had important drops successful ft postulation during lockdown, dollar stores and smaller autarkic grocers -- peculiarly successful low-income neighborhoods and those serving galore radical of colour -- had lone a tiny alteration successful lawsuit visits.

"Most low-income radical inactive had to store for groceries successful idiosyncratic during the COVID lockdowns and whitethorn not person had the economical quality to banal up connected food," said pb survey writer Armita Kar, a doctoral pupil successful geography astatine Ohio State University.

"They took less trips to mid- and high-end market stores extracurricular their vicinity and continued to spell regularly to the stores that were nearest to them, which were the dollar stores and section grocers," Kar said successful a assemblage quality release.

The problems faced by mediocre radical during pandemic lockdowns aren't new, according to survey co-author Huyen Le, an adjunct prof of geography astatine Ohio State.

"COVID-19 exacerbated the existing problems of unequal entree to nutrient for low-income people," Le said.

"The affluent and mediocre were mostly buying astatine antithetic nutrient stores earlier COVID-19, and those differences became adjacent much stark erstwhile the lockdown came," said survey co-author Harvey Miller, manager of Ohio State's Center for Urban and Regional Analysis.

The findings item the request to supply amended nutrient buying options for low-income radical who unrecorded successful alleged nutrient deserts, according to Le.

"Dollar stores mostly connection packaged and highly processed foods that aren't healthy," Le said. "Policymakers should analyse ways to supply amended buying options for radical successful low-income areas, truthful they person amended entree to steadfast foods."

The survey volition beryllium published successful the September contented of the diary Applied Geography.

More information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers tips for healthy eating connected a budget.

SOURCE: Ohio State University, quality release, July 19, 2021

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