Covid-19 and diet: an evaluation of information available on internet in Italy

Main Article Content

Roberto Ambra
Raffaella Canali
Gianni Pastore
Fausta Natella


COVID-19, diet, nutrition, internet, information


Background and aim: During Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Italy experienced deep lockdown with closure of almost all activities, with the exception for food shops and few others. During this quarantine, alteration of dietary habits occurred, due to the changes in food availability and mandatory meal house-consumption. The change in dietary habits could somehow be directed by freely accessible information available on internet.  Thus, s we evaluated the type and the scientific quality of the information provided to the Italian population by the most visible web sites found on google, relating diet in Covid-19 time.

Methods: we systematically perform a reliability and content analysis of Italian language websites using google as search engine and a combinations of diet/nutrition/Covid-19 as search terms

Results: 88 webpages were included in the study, the great part representing newspaper webpages. Institutional webpages, despite having high scientific quality, did not have high visibility. Generally, all the other webpages reported information of medium-quality scientific level.

Conclusion: finding appropriate solutions to redirect the population’s attention to more reliable and accessible information is mandatory.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 424 | PDF Downloads 203


1. WHO COVID-19 Dashboard, available online (accessed on 31 July 2020)
2. King, A. J., Burke, L. M., Halson, et al. (2020) A. The Challenge of Maintaining Metabolic Health During a Global Pandemic. Sports Medicine, 50(7)
3. Sidor, A., & Rzymski, P. (2020) Dietary choices and habits during COVID-19 lockdown: Experience from Poland. Nutrients, 12(6).
4. CREA, available online (accessed on 31 July 2020)
5. Google Trend, available online (accessed on 31 July 2020)
6. StatCounter Globalstats, available online (accessed on 8 September 2020)
7. Moz, available online (accessed on 8 September 2020)
8. Sandvik, H. (1999) Health information and interaction on the internet: A survey of female urinary incontinence. British Medical Journal, 319(7201): 29–32
9. Lucisano, P., & Piemontese, M. E. (1988) Gulpease: a formula to predict readability of texts written in Italian Language. Scuola Città, 39.
10. Pharmacy Scanner, available online (accessed on 31 July 2020)
11. Horne, J. R., & Vohl, M.-C. (2020) Biological plausibility for interactions between dietary fat, resveratrol, ACE2, and SARS-CoV illness severity. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism, 318(5), E830–E833.
12. Oliveira Andrade, J. M., Paraíso, A. F., Garcia, et al. (2014) Cross talk between angiotensin-(1–7)/Mas axis and sirtuins in adipose tissue and metabolism of high-fat feed mice. Peptides, 55, 158–165.
13. Tiao, M. M., Lin, Y.J., Yu, et al., (2018) Resveratrol ameliorates maternal and post-weaning high-fat diet-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease via renin-angiotensin system. Lipids in Health and Disease, 17(1), 178.
14. Moran, C. S., Biros, E., Krishna, S. M., et al. (2017) Resveratrol Inhibits Growth of Experimental Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Associated With Upregulation of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 37(11), 2195–2203.
15. Zhang, H., Penninger, J. M., Li, et al. (2020) Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a SARS-CoV-2 receptor: molecular mechanisms and potential therapeutic target. Intensive Care Medicine, 46(4), 586–590.
16. Goldberg, E. L., Molony, R. D., Kudo, et al. (2019) Ketogenic diet activates protective γδ T cell responses against influenza virus infection. Science Immunology, 4(41), eaav2026.
17. El Ghoch, M., & Valerio, A. (2020) Let food be the medicine, but not for coronavirus: Nutrition and food science, telling myths from facts. Journal of Population Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology, Journal de La Therapeutique Des Populations et de La Pharmacologie Clinique, 27