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How COVID May Impact Food Choices

How COVID May Impact Food Choices


Before COVID, loss of smell or anosmia, was not a common health topic of conversation among friends, family or even news anchors.  During the pandemic however, that all has changed.  Pre COVID, one study reported about 10% of participants reported loss of smell, compared to 29% after more objective measures.  Fast forward to today, another study from March 2021, stated 46% of participants self-reported loss of smell, while 69% suffered from it after more objective assessment.  In short, the sense of smell or rather lack of it, is getting a lot more attention.  


Has it happened to you?  When your sense of smell and taste are altered, minimized, or lost all together, eating can become a downright chore.  The enjoyment (and sometimes appetite too) is totally lost.  Some find that they struggle to eat while others try to compensate by choosing foods that are high in fat, sodium and crunch factor such as fried chicken or potatoes or Chinese food takeout. 


COVID isn’t the only thing that can cause these sensory alterations.  Upper respiratory infections, head trauma and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s can all impact one’s sense of smell.  It has even been found to be associated with both type 1 and 2 diabetes, cancers and is a side effect of several prescription medications.  


With this in mind, we suggest taking this as opportunity to eat healthful foods that may get overlooked when taste and small lead the decision making! 


Published June 1, 2021

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