State of Our Health Q1 2022: Gen Z Post-Pandemic: Where Are They Now?


Gen Z – teens and young adults aged 13-25 – have been hit hard by the pandemic’s social restrictions. We explored how they were coping back in Q4 2020, and were among the first to point out just how challenging the pandemic was to young people’s mental health, fitness, and eating habits. We saw dramatic declines in weekly exercise, engagement with healthy eating, and self-confidence and self-esteem.

Fast forward to now, and most students are back in the classroom and social life is recovering, despite ongoing Covid-related challenges. We decided it was time to check in again with Gen Z to see if and how well they’ve recovered. We’re pleased to report that much of the news is good, but there are also critical gaps – in fitness, in food, and in wellness generally – especially among young adults. Understanding where and why these gaps exist is the key to opportunity with this generation as they seek to recover their stride.


1. Background, Methodology, Executive Summary, Key Takeaways

2. Gen Z through the Pandemic: Priorities and Performance – Understand how Gen Z’s health and wellness fluctuated through the pandemic and what long-term trends are emerging, including differences by teens and young adults.

3. Newly Engaged Nutrition Consumers – Gen Z has grown more engaged with nutrition over the past 2 years. Learn about the motivations behind this shift, and what it means in terms of how Gen Z approach healthy eating.

4. Fitness Falters with Uneven Recovery – In contrast to nutrition, fitness continues to be a challenge for many young people. Yet fitness is central to Gen Z’s approach to both physical and mental health. Understand the reasons behind this uneven recovery and how to bridge the gaps.

5. What’s New in Q1 – Explore highlights from this past quarter to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Q1 was another roller coaster quarter, with Omicron, the holidays, and winter weather, and the first blush of spring all impacting Americans’ eating, exercise, and mindfulness.

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