Purpose During the Covid-19 pandemic, people were deprived of their freedom, unable to engage in physical and social activities, and worried about their health. Uncertainty, insecurity, and confinement are all factors that may induce stress, uneasiness, fear, and depression. In this context, this study aims to identify possible relationships of emotions caused by health risks and restrictions to outdoor activities with well-informed decisions about food consumption. Design/methodology/approach The theoretical framework of this research draws on the stimulus-organism-response paradigm yielding six research hypotheses. An online survey was designated to test these hypotheses. A total of 1,298 responses were gathered from Italy, Greece, and the United Kingdom. Data analyses include demographic group comparisons, moderation, and multiple regression tests. Findings The results showed that when people miss their usual activities (including freedom of movement, social contact, travelling, personal care services, leisure activities, and eating at restaurants) and worry about their health and the health of their families, they turn to safer food choices of higher quality, dedicating more of their time and resources to cooking and eating. Research limitations/implications The findings showcase how risk-based thinking is critical for management and marketing strategies. Academics and practitioners may rely on these findings to include extreme conditions within their scope, understanding food literacy as a resilience factor to cope with health risks and stimulated emotions. Originality/value This study identified food behavioural patterns under risk-laden conditions. A health risk acted as an opportunity to look at food consumption as a means of resilience.
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