COVID-19: the junk food is popular in this confinement period

Junk food is popular in this period of confinement, a phenomenon that is mainly due to the climate of anxiety which prevails, and the desire for comfort, according to a nutritionist.

“We face great insecurities, anxiety, stress, fatigue, emotions which we can call debilitating or negative, which lead to the elevation of cortisone in the body and that will create the appetite and the urge to eat foods that are comforting,” explained Geneviève Arbour, a member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec (OPDQ).

“Instinctively, the foods that give us comfort foods are sweet, fatty or salty. It corresponds to the description of the fast food restaurants because it comes to stimulate an area in our brain that is called the zone of the reward and it is the same area that is stimulated in cases of dependency,” .


Last week, during the reopening of restaurants Chez Ashton in Quebec city after doing some grease trap maintenance at the restaurants, long queues of automobiles were created in front of the branches, and some customers have waited over an hour to get their order, putin for example.

“When we eat, we incorporate a symbol. It may be that Chez Ashton in Quebec city, it is a symbol of normality, of finding a social time. The people are proud of Ashton. This is something that comes from their terroir. Is it a desire to return to something a little more normal in a time where we saw something completely out of the ordinary?” has raised the nutritionist.

Symbol or not, it is not difficult to find queues at fast-food establishments, even if everyone knows that this is not what is best to eat for health.

Ms Arbour believes that a moment of reflection allows you to avoid this decision. “We are stressed, we are addicted to social networks, we read all the news and we can’t go to bed early. It is tired in the day, and it makes us messages of distress which translates to appetite”, she said.

“It is super important these days to look on us with kindness and compassion toward self and recognize that this is not a simple one. The more that is benevolent, more than we have space to take a step back”, she concluded.

Two nights, two long lines

The newspaper 24 Hours has surveyed people who were waiting in queues considerable in front of two restaurants “fast-food” in order to understand their motivations.

The first observation is that the most agree on one reason: “change of air”, replied from the outset Sara, seen Tuesday at the drive-in A&W located at the corner of Christophe-Colomb and highway 40.

“It is an exit from the house. The children are kept at home, and it allows us to have a change of air,” conceded also Penelope. A usually temporary, nuance-t-elle. “We don’t have the means to come every week.”

The atmosphere of the containment in Montreal increases the laziness of some consumers, believes David Morel, a young man in the twenties who was also waiting for him in his car to order.

Others did not agree. “I don’t think this changes anything”, said Gloria, 22 years old, coming to eat after a day of busy work.

“[The crisis of the COVID] has allowed me to have a little more time to cook,” said she Karine Laperrière, unemployment due to the closure of the art studio where she worked.

Ice cream

Wednesday, 19 h, before the counter of the Dairy Queen at the corner of Jarry street and Boyer, the people patientaient a twenty-minute queue to put the hand on a cornet.

This output is in some way a balm frozen Montrealers will be confined for several weeks.

Pascale and Francis, both residents of the district of Villeray, had introduced this exit well before the containment. “It was already our practice to come to the Dairy Queen in normal times. Take a walk, it gives us a little bit in our normal life”, said Pascale.

“It is a comfort, as a general rule, that thou hast the same. We are pleased,” continued Francis, adding that his wife and him are still just as much of a cook despite the pandemic.

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