Most Dutch didn't change their eating habits in lockdown

The vast majority of Netherlands residents didn't change their eating habits when the country went into intelligent lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to a survey by the Nutrition Center among over a thousand Dutch aged 18 or older, AD reports.

83 percent of respondents told the Nutrition Center that they did not start eating differently after the coronavirus measures came into effect. 70 percent don't eat more or less than before, and 73 percent don't eat more often than at other times. 

"We are not surprised that people indicat​e that they have changed little in their behavior," Roel Hermans, nutrition expert at the Nutrition Center, said to the newspaper. "Eating behavior is learned and ingrained over years. Despite all measures, normal life continues and people like to stick to their habits."

A few Netherlands residents did change their eating habits, if subtly. A tenth said that they now eat healthier, because they have more time to cook or want to boost their immune system. Some also say this has to do because they encounter fewer unhealthy temptations at home than when out and about. About a third said they pay more attention to their weight, and 5 percent are actively working on losing weight. A fifth of respondents now drink less alcohol than before. 

The nutrition center also noticed an improvement in food hygiene. 70 percent of Dutch now wash their hands more often before cooking and 65 percent before eating. Nearly half said they now wash their fruit or vegetables more often before eating them. Herman is pleased with this. "More hygiene can lead to fewer food related infections, for example."