What Do SHINE’s 8-18 Year Olds Think About Coronavirus-19?

By August 27, 2020Uncategorized

You might imagine that putting takeaways, supermarkets and vending machines out of reach would make healthy eating habits easier for SHINE’s children and young people. But a recent interactive survey we conducted with our participants highlighted that these challenges haven’t gone away – they’re simply different. As one participant summarised it, “…there’s more access to food when you’re at home…”

There were lots of surprises in our participants responses but before we dive in, a quick word on the format here. The information from our survey was gathered via group Zoom sessions so they’re not anonymous. Also, this is a group of 20 children and young people so not a huge sample. But there are some fascinating findings anyway…

Question: How’s your diet changed since lockdown?

  • SHINE’s participants reported snacking more at home than they used to but still not as much as they did at school.

  • Secondary school pupils highlighted that food at home was healthier than the sausage rolls, bacon sandwiches, burgers and chips on offer at tuck shops and lunch breaks in school.

  • Primary school pupils unanimously said school meals were healthy and controlled.

  • Generally fewer sweets were eaten as no longer passing shops.

  • Some participants highlighted they’d already started to slide back into pre-CV-19 habits and were visiting shops while going out with friends again.

Question: What takeaways have you had since lockdown?

  • A quarter of our participants said they’d not had a takeaway since lockdown. Nine of our participants said they’d had between one and three takeaways in the 17 weeks of lockdown.

  • Everyone said they’d cut down on takeaways since lockdown. Partly due to lack of access, but several participants also highlighted safety concerns around bringing the virus into their homes.

  • Only four out of the 20 reported having a McDonalds since they opened. All four reported feeling sick afterwards.

>Question: What fears and anxieties do you have about the future?

    • The most common fear and anxiety was ‘Going back to school and confronting bullying again’.

    • Next most common was ‘Gaining back the weight I have lost during lockdown’.

    • Followed by ‘I feel nervous about using public transport’.

    • Several participants highlighted worries about how GCSEs would work and uncertainty about how college would function during CV-19 pandemic.

    • Concerns around lost confidence in going out and being around other people were also highlighted.

    • The older group raised health risk concerns related to their weight.

    • Lots of comments around ‘uncertainty’ – what will the ‘new normal’ be like.