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Why This Age Group is Gaining the Most Weight During the Pandemic

There’s a reason stress eating affects some more than others.

Good news: If your eating habits changed during the pandemic, you are not alone! According to data collected by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), 85% of the 1,011 people who answered a survey between April 8 and April 16 said what and when they ate changed while being inside because of stay-at-home orders.

Many people cooked at home more than they did before, and a lot of people also washed their produce more. Almost 30% of people said they found themselves thinking about food more often.

Related: These are the Most Popular Diets During Coronavirus

But people of a certain age are more likely to head to the pantry in between meals. And who it is may surprise you.

According to the survey, 41% of people with kids under 18 years old are snacking more. Only 26% of people over 50 and 29% of people with no children said they are snacking more frequently.

"One group of people that clearly jumped out this year is parents of children under 18," the director of research and nutrition communications at IFIC, Ali Webster, PhD, RD told Forbes. "At a point in time where kids are home from school, child care routines are upended and social support networks have shrunk, parents of younger children are clearly managing the stresses of the pandemic differently than those without children. These stressors may be manifesting in their approach to food."

Snacking in between larger meals can increase the number of calories eaten in a day, according to Harvard Health. Snack foods that lack things that keep us full like fiber, nutrients, and protein can leave you unsatisfied. Because of this, you will end up hungry sooner.

But healthy snacks can actually help with weight loss. Choosing things under 250 calories that have less than 15 grams of sugar and are full of nutrients and fiber can help regulate blood sugar and reduce cravings. Here are The 50 Best Healthy Snacks to Buy for Weight Loss.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda
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