COVID-19 Public Health Road Map: Eating Behaviour

Ellie Whittaker, Neil Howlett, Shanara Abdin, Paul Chadwick, Gillian Shorter, Jo Hart, Chris Armitage, Tracy Epton, Lucie Byrne-Davis, Madelynne A Arden, Atiya Kamal, Lesley Lewis, John Drury, Emily McBride, Daryl O'Connor, Vivien Swanson, Sam Thompson, Angel Chater, Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention Taskforce

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Behavioural science recommendations
Eating a balanced diet can benefit both physical and psychological health. Eating behaviour is influenced by what we know and what we can do (capability); the people around us and our physical environment (opportunity); and our beliefs, what we want, how we see ourselves, how we regulate our emotions, and our habits (motivation). To support possible changes to eating behaviour since COVID-19:

● Consider whether any disruption to daily routines, finances, access to food, storage/cooking facilities and/or social support may have influenced people’s ability to eat a balanced diet.
● Where needed, proactively put in place strategies to mitigate influences on eating behaviour (e.g. food provision for those with lack of access).
● Promote alternative ways to regulate emotion if eating behaviour has been influenced (e.g. due to anxiety, low mood or boredom).
● Facilitate planning of how to eat a balanced diet in the event of unpredictable circumstances (e.g. ensuring food essentials are available in the home if there is a need to self-isolate/quarantine).
● Promote eating a balanced diet for the benefit of physical health and psychological wellbeing, particularly in relation to boosting the immune system.

We recommend following the British Psychological Society’s Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention: Psychological guidance to shape any policy and/or communications strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeicester
PublisherBritish Psychological Society
Commissioning bodyBritish Psychological Society
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Co-Chair of the Health Behaviour and COVID-19 working group that produced these documents 1/9


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