Use of online food retail platforms throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and associated diet-related chronic disease risk factors: A systematic review of emerging evidence

Si Si Jia*, Rebecca Raeside, Emma Sainsbury, Sara Wardak, Philayrath Phongsavan, Julie Redfern, Margaret Allman-Farinelli, Melissa A. Fernandez, Stephanie R. Partridge, Alice A. Gibson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Food accessibility was considerably impacted by restrictions during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, leading to growth in the online food retail sector, which offered contact-free delivery. This systematic review aimed to assess the change in use of online food retail platforms during COVID-19. The secondary aim was to identify diet-related chronic disease risk factors including dietary intake, eating behaviors, and/or weight status associated with the use of online food retail platforms during the pandemic. The review was registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) (CRD42022320498) and adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Nine electronic databases were searched between January 2020 and October 2023. Studies that reported the frequency or change in use of online groceries, meal delivery applications, and/or meal-kit delivery services before and during the pandemic were included. A total of 53 studies were identified, including 46 cross-sectional studies, 4 qualitative studies, 2 longitudinal cohort studies, and 1 mixed-methods study. Overall, 96% (43/45) of outcomes showed an increase in the use of online groceries during COVID-19, while 55% (22/40) of outcomes showed a decrease in meal delivery applications. Eight of nine outcomes associated the use of online food retail with weight gain and emotional eating. Further research is needed to investigate the links between online food retail and obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13720
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalObesity Reviews
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024
Externally publishedYes

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