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Dalhousie seeks Atlantic Canadians for study of eating habits during COVID-19

Produce is shown in a grocery store in Toronto on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Researchers in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University are examining how people eat during the pandemic and would like to hear from the public.

According to Dal, The CELLAR (COVID-related Eating Limitations and Latent Dietary Effects in the Atlantic Region) study will investigate the nutritional consequences of how we eat during the pandemic in Atlantic Canada.

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“We know that from an economic standpoint in Nova Scotia, we actually have about one in five households with children who are food insecure,” said Dr. Catherine L. Mah, lead researcher.

“So households are already at a baseline level, even prior to the pandemic, unable to potentially access food. So I expect that the pandemic may really have exacerbated some of this.”

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Through CELLAR, Dalhousie said that researchers will carry out an in-depth analysis of how COVID-19 is affecting Atlantic residents’ diets and nutrition. This is why the team is looking for people to include in the study.

“The study seeks to enrol a robust random sample of approximately 1,000 participants representative of the population in the four Atlantic provinces,” the team said in a statement.

Starting on Wednesday, research coordinators will begin recruiting participants via random digit dialing and are asking Atlantic Canadians to be on the lookout for their call.

“As a thank you for participation, we will be offering up to $120 in grocery gift cards,” the team said.

Through this research, Mah believes strengthening people’s nutritional knowledge can support long-term health outcomes.

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