Officials seeking to find impacts of Coronavirus on diet and health


TAYLOR COUNTY—The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of the county’s residents in many different ways. Now, the West Virginia University (WVU) is partnering with local organizations to help learn how the virus’s spread has affected community member’s nutrition.
In order to obtain needed information about the impact on food habits and health that the Coronavirus has had, West Virginia University School of Public Health has teamed up with rural researchers and created a COVID-19 Food Survey.
“The target for West Virginia is to obtain responses from every county,” said Denis Scott, West Virginia University Extension Service State Civic Engagement and Global Education Specialist. “This survey is for everyone, no matter your situation.”
The purpose of the study is to obtain a better understanding of how the Coronavirus crisis has impacted the health of the state’s people, especially as it related to food security. Food security, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as the ability of individuals to access food on a regular basis to provide for an active, healthy life.
The survey will help issuers learn just how the crisis might have changed how residents obtain food and any alterations that had to be made in the consumer’s diet, along with changes in regard to physical activity and stress levels.
All residents who are 18 years of age or older are encouraged to participate in the questionnaire, so that the proctors will have a better picture of the pandemic’s effect, across the board.
“West Virginians everywhere have been impacted in small and big ways by the circumstances surrounding COVID-19,” shared Dr. Lauri Andress, assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Leadership, WVU Health Sciences. “We are interested in learning about your experience with food during COVID-19.”
To help encourage participation in the survey, the WVU Extension Service is offering a great incentive. Those who take the time to complete the survey, which will take approximately 20 minutes to complete, will be added into a drawing to receive a $40 Walmart gift card.
The winner will be selected randomly following the conclusion of the survey and will be notified via email.
Information provided by participants will not be identified individually. Names and contact information will not be linked with responses to the survey. In addition, individuals do not have to answer any questions that they feel uncomfortable with and the survey may be stopped at any time.
The responses from the survey will be compiled into one report and then shared with communities; health professionals; organizations; state, county and municipal officials; and other groups that assist in making a difference in the lives of citizens.
To take part in the questionnaire before July 1, visit https://montana.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0kR1dAisSTjsaUZ.
Questions or concerns about this study should be directed to Dr. Lauri Andress by email at [email protected] or by phone at 713-553-8192
Questions about involvement in this study may also be directed to a representative at WVU, Gretchen McMasters, Director of the Institutional Review Board at West Virginia University. She may be contacted by phone at 304-293-7555 or by emailing [email protected]
“Your participation is valuable. Please share this survey with your family, community and on social media,” Andress said. “We need as many West Virginians to complete this survey as possible!”

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