These are uncertain times, and for many people the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has prompted an increase in stress and anxiety. Concern about the risk of becoming ill, drastic changes in schedules and routines and difficulty finding common grocery items all compound the situation.
People react to stress differently, but one of the most common responses is a change in eating patterns. According to the American Psychological Association, more than one-fourth of Americans regularly engage in stress eating – when we eat as a conscious or sub-conscious way of soothing negative emotions.
“The anxiety associated with this type of outbreak can be a trigger for stress eating, but it doesn’t have to be,” says Kelsey Tiller, a registered dietitian with Tidelands Health. “If you’re aware that anxiety can affect your eating habits, you’ve taken the critical first step in taking control over the impulse.”