Assessment of dietary habits and use of nutritional supplements in COVID-19: A cross-sectional study

PharmaNutrition. 2022 Dec;22:100309. doi: 10.1016/j.phanu.2022.100309. Epub 2022 Aug 30.

Abstract

Objective: Determine nutritional status and use of food supplements during COVID-19.

Methods: Sample of individuals aged 18-65 participated in study voluntarily. Patients with COVID-19 or individuals with contact were not included. Questionnaire form was prepared based on literature on food supplements and included questions adapted to COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: 488 participants completed the study. Participants' mean age was 26.28 ± 7.64, %82.0 were female, 88.3% were high educated. During COVID-19, 33.6% exercise less than 150 min/day, 55.1% evaluate their eating habits as good/very good, and number of meals did not change compared to before pandemic (41.8%). 34.2% of participants consume 5-7 cups of water daily during pandemic. Consumption of pastry (54.7%) and green leafy vegetables (49.6%) increased. 78.7% of participants did not use any nutritional supplement, and 51.1% stated that they did not need nutritional supplements. Multivitamin and mineral (16.5%), vitamin D (15.3%), and vitamin C (11.4%) are used the most, and 56.7% have been using these products for 1-3 months. Use of nutritional supplements was recommended mostly by doctors (39.4%). 43.1% stated that they used these products to maintain good health, 21.9% because they felt tired, 13.8% because they did not have adequate and balanced nutrition. 51.0% of those using nutritional supplements benefited, 30.8% had no effect.

Conclusions: Participants did not make significant changes in their eating habits compared to before pandemic, the use of nutritional supplements increased to maintain good health.

Keywords: COVID-19; Nutrition; Nutritional supplement; SARS-Cov-2; Supplementation.