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May changes in nutritional habits be an indicator of fear during the COVID-19 pandemic period?

Eda Başmısırlı (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nuh Naci Yazgan University, Kayseri, Turkey)
Aslı Gizem Çapar (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nuh Naci Yazgan University, Kayseri, Turkey)
Neşe Kaya (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nuh Naci Yazgan University, Kayseri, Turkey)
Hasan Durmuş (Department of Public Health, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey)
Mualla Aykut (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nuh Naci Yazgan University, Kayseri, Turkey)
Neriman İnanç (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nuh Naci Yazgan University, Kayseri, Turkey)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 4 June 2024

33

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of anxiety levels of adults on their nutritional status during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kayseri province, Turkey.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 898 adults consisting of 479 individuals with and 419 individuals without a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 were included in the study. The individuals’ socio-demographic characteristics, health status, nutritional habits, anthropometric measurement and Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) information were obtained online.

Findings

The mean FCV-19S score of the participants was 17.49 ± 6.02. FCV-19S score was higher in those who reduced their consumption of protein sources compared to those who did not change and those who increased (p < 0.001). It was determined that FCV-19S scores of participants who increased their consumption of fruit/vegetables, sweets and sugar were higher than those who did not change their consumption of such items (p = 0.007). The FCV-19S scores of individuals who did not change their onion/garlic and snack consumption were lower than those who decreased or increased the consumption of these nutrients (p = 0.001, p = 0.002).

Practical implications

Education programs can be organized especially targeting vulnerable populations, such as women, individuals with chronic diseases and those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. These programs can be conducted by dietitians and psychologists in collaboration, focusing on promoting healthy eating habits and coping strategies during stressful times.

Originality/value

It was determined that those who changed their nutrition habits during the COVID-19 pandemic had higher fear levels than those who did not. Individuals with high fear paid more attention to healthy nutrition than individuals without fear.

Keywords

Citation

Başmısırlı, E., Çapar, A.G., Kaya, N., Durmuş, H., Aykut, M. and İnanç, N. (2024), "May changes in nutritional habits be an indicator of fear during the COVID-19 pandemic period?", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-12-2023-0305

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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