Food has played a large role in helping Americans cope with isolation and three-quarters of Americans are eating more comfort food than ever before, according to new research.
The study asked 2,000 Americans about their eating habits during their time in self-isolation and how they have used food to connect with their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thirty-seven percent of respondents shared they’re turning to their favorite feel-good foods daily and another 38% said they’re chowing down on comfort food every other day while at home during the pandemic.
Six in 10 respondents shared their go-to pandemic comfort food was ice cream, closely followed by chocolates or candies.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Sensodyne, the survey also found that 74% said cooking has been a successful coping mechanism for them as they deal with the stress of being home.
Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they have even learned a new recipe during quarantine and another 32% have taken an online cooking class.
A quarter of respondents have also passed along their positivity and donated their cooking to those in need in their community.
Another 72% of respondents agreed that food has always been their favorite way to connect with their loved ones.
These positive memories make it particularly difficult for 37% of respondents who’ve developed sensitivity issues in their lifetime.
The top sensitivity issues respondents reported included teeth sensitivity to cold temperatures and other discomforts.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry¹, tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients and at least 40 million adults in the United States suffer at some time from sensitive teeth.
“If you’re experiencing a sensitivity to a specific temperature or hot and cold or air and if it’s something that’s causing noticeable discomfort or impacting your daily routine you might want to switch to a toothpaste that relieves sensitivity,” shares GSK Oral Care experts, Jodi Majewski, Division Sales Manager and Monica Biga, Charlotte Business Manager.
Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed with a sensitivity issue shared they worry they may never be able to enjoy their favorite food again.
To keep favorite food memories alive, respondents shared that they put up with discomfort an average of four times a week to enjoy their favorite foods.
“If you have avoided certain foods because of tooth sensitivity, managing the issue and enjoying those things again is easier than you think,” shares Majewski. “First, switch out your toothbrush if you’re using hard bristles. The American Dental Association recommends that your toothbrush has soft bristles² ³ (instead of hard) to help minimize the risk of gum recession. Next, switch to a toothpaste that specializes to relieve tooth sensitivity, so you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite foods.”
TOP COMFORT FOODS EATEN DURING SELF-ISOLATION
- Potato chips – 62%
- Ice cream – 59%
- Chocolate/candy – 58%
- Pizza – 56%
- Mac and cheese – 51%
- Pasta – 46%
- Mashed potatoes – 46%
- Chicken noodle soup – 36%
TOP WAYS FOOD HAS POSITIVELY IMPACTED AMERICANS’ TIME INSELF-ISOLATION
- Learned a new recipe – 44%
- Watched a cooking show or livestream – 39%
- Learned new ways to prepare their favorite meals – 38%
- Taken an online cooking class – 32%
- Made food to deliver to those in need in their community – 26%
- Attended virtual dinner parties – 22%
- Donated food to healthcare workers and first responders – 19%
AMERICANS’ FAVORITE FOOD-RELATED MEMORIES
(Responses have been edited for length/clarity)
- A spaghetti dinner with all of my dad’s family
- Baking cookies from scratch with my mom in the kitchen
- Eating ice cream after baseball games with my grandfather
- Eating popsicles with the neighbor kids
- Eating watermelon outside with my siblings every summer.
- Enjoying fried chicken at Grandma’s after church on Sunday.
- Fresh fish from the lake. We always enjoyed going out catching fish, cleaning them and cooking them for supper.
- Friday night buffet nights with my best friends in high school.
- I remember on Sundays we would have a roast with potatoes, carrot and onions.
- My grandmother would make pizza from scratch. She grew the herbs, made her own sauce and a thick Sicilian style crust
- American Dental Association. Why Are My Teeth Sensitive? Accessed June 18, 2020.
- Cifcibasi E, Koyuncuoglu CZ, Baser U, et al. Comparison of manual toothbrushes with different bristle designs in terms of cleaning efficacy and potential role on gingival recession. Eur J Dent 2014;8(3):395-401.
- Zanatta FB, Bergoli AD, Werle SB, Antoniazzi RP. Biofilm removal and gingival abrasion with medium and soft toothbrushes. Oral Health Prev Dent 2011;9(2):177-83.