International research group YouGov has been tracking the impact of COVID-19 on people around the world. In early April, YouGov and Healthline partnered to introduce five custom mental health questions as part of the group’s data collection. One interesting discovery has been the burden faced by parents during this pandemic. The most recent data show notable findings in eating behaviors and spending habits among parents with children at home, compared to other groups. The following information is based on Week 8 of YouGov’s tracker, reflecting April 30 to May 6, 2020. Parents with a child younger than 18 years old are simply referred to as “parents” in our analysis.
Caring for family
Parents’ foremost virus-related concern is how to care for their children or aging parents if they get the virus.
Parents are more likely than childless adults to have stockpiled supplies such as canned foods or medicine because of COVID-19.
Compared to adults without children, parents spend more money across product categories, both in physical stores and online. The greatest increase during the COVID-19 pandemic has been in groceries. Spending on entertainment is also up, especially online (versus at brick-and-mortar stores) and especially among parents.
The percentage of adults who have ordered food delivery more often during the outbreak has steadily increased. The increase was seen among all groups, but it appears to have leveled off for childless adults and parents with children over 18. Among parents with children under 18, the trend is still on the rise.
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