Comfort Foods + COVID-19

Comfort food is a type of food that holds a specific kind of value to an individual. Anything that evokes a strong feeling can be considered a comfort food. For many, comfort food provides feelings of happiness and pleasure while temporarily making us feel better.  

The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in various ways. No person’s experience is or has been the same. Due to all the changes we have experienced, people have been reaching for more comfort foods than they may have been before. Studies in New York have shown that 3 out of every 4 Americans are eating more comfort food than they were prior to the pandemic. With the stress that the pandemic has brought into everyone’s lives, this is completely understandable. For some, eating comfort food is a coping mechanism to help oneself feel good temporarily by eating a food they enjoy.  

Consuming comfort foods can provide many psychological benefits. They can improve your mood, improve your sense of well-being and decrease feelings of loneliness. According to Psychology Today, just thinking about a specific comfort food has also been found to improve emotional well-being in people.  

So, what is the most popular comfort food in America? According to an article authored by the Food Network, the answer is pizza! Other common types of comfort food include: 

  • Chocolate 
  • Ice Cream 
  • Mac and Cheese 
  • Chips 
  • Hamburgers 
  • Steak 
  • Popcorn 
  • Pasta 

Good nutrition is all about having a well-balanced diet, so that means that occasionally eating food you consider to be “unhealthy” is actually good for you. It is important to remember that restricting yourself from consuming foods you enjoy can be harmful and negatively impact your relationship with food. Comfort foods are commonly viewed as “unhealthy” or non-nutritious but consuming these foods can provide positive benefits to mental health as well as overall wellbeing. Some of the benefits include feelings of pleasure, happiness and temporarily feeling better after consumption!  


– Taylor Dewey, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador 


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