DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20204385

COVID-19 and its effect on nutrition

Muskaan Sutaria, Greeshma Keny, Shilpa A. Pratinidhi

Abstract


Background: Pandemic induced lockdown has led to various changes in dietary habits and physical activity amongst the general population like increased consumption of processed food, snacking between meals and decreased consumption of vegetables. This unhealthy lifestyle leads to increase in weight and obesity, which are long-term risk factors for various chronic disorders and impairs the immune system which is vital during a pandemic. Therefore, this study was conducted to document changes in the nutritional habits.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted. Written informed consent was obtained and the purpose of the study was explained. A self-administered questionnaire was circulated as Google forms to collect data.

Results: 422 volunteers participated. Around 23.5% (n=56) consumed vegetables less than twice a week. Snacking between meals 1-3 times a day was observed in 72% (n=304), of which 54.9% (n=167) do not exercise at all or less than before lockdown and, 52.6% (n=160) showed a significant increase in weight. Out of the 50.2% (n=212) with a changed eating schedule, 30.18% (n=64) skipped at least one meal and 22.3% also showed gastrointestinal disturbances.

Conclusions: Many changes were observed in dietary habits of people due to lockdown, which are a step towards a weak immune system and also forms a basis for chronic diseases in the future. Therefore, it is advisable to consume a balanced diet, as it is an unexcelled way of boosting the immune system which will help in fighting all types of infection including the novel coronavirus infection and lead a healthy lifestyle.


Keywords


Nutrition, COVID-19, Pandemic, Lockdown, Dietary habit changes

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References


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