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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5358
Vol. 21, No. 6, 2021, pp. 18154-18169
Bioline Code: nd21066
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 21, No. 6, 2021, pp. 18154-18169

Das, A; Bharti, N & Malik, S


Food addiction (FA) has a long-term impact on the health of individuals. This study analyses the changes in FA and related behaviour in India in the wake of lockdown which started on 25th March 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This paper provides insight into the food consumption behavior of various segments of the population during this lockdown. It offers some new insights in this regard by establishing the relationship between a temporary pause in the consumption of palatable food and FA. This study was conducted between March and May 2020 in two stages. First, a quantitative study used the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) to identify food addicts from a sample of 150 respondents. In the second stage, in-depth telephone interviews were conducted with the food addicts; the responses were recorded, transcribed, and analysed to ascertain the changes in their overall consumption and addiction behavior towards palatable foods. This was done by conducting a thematic analysis with the help of the NVivo software where various tools like word cloud and cluster analysis were used. This study found that COVID-19 restrictions had significantly brought down the addiction to palatable food in India as the regular consumption chain had got broken during the lockdown. The consumption of palatable food is expected to remain low for a brief period after the lockdown due to hygiene issues like improper or lack of sanitization and cleanliness. However, in the long-run, the consumption of palatable food is expected to rise in India owing to its growing population, modernisation, increasing disposable income and changes in customer preferences. These findings have significant implications for the food, packaging and health industries as the changes in customer behavior will certainly impact them, and they need to duly change their strategy to adapt to the changes promptly.

Food; addiction; Yale Food Addiction Scale; lockdown; nutrition

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