19 Apr 2021
Foods (Basel, Switzerland);
Sensory perception alterations are common in relation to COVID-19 disease, but less is known about the characteristic of the sensory alterations, and how they associate with alterations in appetite and eating behaviour. The current study aims to investigate the acute and long-term effects of COVID-19 disease on (1) the desire for food, hunger, and satiety sensations; (2) smell, taste, and flavour perception; (3) meals and intake of food types; and (4) the frequency of commonly applied strategies to tackle potential changes in appetite and sensory perception. An online survey was conducted among Danish adults (
= 102) who had experienced changes in appetite, sensory perception, and/or food-related pleasure due to COVID-19 disease. Key results include appetite-altering effects at all times during the day when suffering from COVID-19 and often associated with impaired sensory function. Severe sensory perception alterations were found, namely, for the perception of taste, ageusia > hypogeusia > hypergeusia, and for the perception of smell, anosmia > parosmia > hyposmia > hyperosmia. Eating behavioural changes included alteration in quantitative and qualitative aspects of intake. The effects were, in general, more pronounced during the acute phase of disease than during the post-acute phase. The findings illustrate the complexity by which COVID-19 affects human appetite, sensory perception, and eating behaviour, but also point to strategies to cope with these changes.