An analysis of the changes in food consumption frequencies before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: Turkey

Main Article Content

Burhan Başaran
Hilal Pekmezci


COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Pandemic, Nutrition, Turkey.


Caused by the SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 outbreak that has turned into a global pandemic has proved that many events that would have been deemed as elements of pure fiction can indeed become reality. Millions of people in many countries isolated/are isolating themselves within the scope of self-quarantine to control the outbreak. This might affect one's dietary habits either positively or negatively. One of the first in its field, the present study statistically examines the changes in food consumption frequencies of 3017 individuals living in one of the seven regions of Turkey before and during the COVID-19 pandemic using a scale formulated with this specific purpose. As far as food consumption frequencies are concerned, while no statistically significant differences were spotted in the general total of the scale, 9 out of 10 sub-groups, the exception being the bread group, manifested statistically significant variations (p<0.001). Specifically, while the consumption of dietary supplements like propolis or vitamins C and D surged, the consumption of flour, sugar, salt, and various beverages (instant coffee, soft drinks) fell significantly. The post-COVID-19 era is considered to bring about an increase in the demand for products boosting the immune system.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 24 |


1. Tyrrell, D.A.J. and M.L. Bynoe, Cultivation of viruses from a high proportion of patients with colds. Lancet, 1966. p. 76-7.
2. Chen, Y., Q. Liu, and D. Guo, Emerging coronaviruses: genome structure, replication, and pathogenesis. Journal of Medical Virology, 2020. 92(4): p. 418-423.
3. Zhu, N., et al., A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. New England Journal of Medicine, 2020. 382: p. 727-733.
4. World Health Organization. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). 2003. Accessed 20 June 2020.
5. World Health Organization. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). 2012. Accessed 20 June 2020.
6. McIntosh, K. and S. Perlman, Coronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 2015. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders.
7. Velavan, T.P. and G.C. Meyer, The COVID‐19 epidemic. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 2020. 25(3): p. 278-280.
8. Li, Q., et al., Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus–infected pneumonia. New England Journal of Medicine, 2020. 382(13): p. 1199-1207.
9. Cucinotta, D. and M. Vanelli, WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic. Acta Bio-Medica: Atenei Parmensis, 2020. 91(1): p. 157-160.
10. World Health Organization, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 2020. Accessed 24 June 2020.
11. Jordan, R.E., P. Adab, and K.K. Cheng, Covid-19: risk factors for severe disease and death. BMJ, 2020. 368, p. m1198.
12. Chen, N., et al., Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. The Lancet, 2020. 395(10223): p. 507-513.
13. Wu, Z. and M.J. McGoogan, Characteristics of and important lessons from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in China: summary of a report of 72 314 cases from the Chinese Center for disease control and prevention. Jama, 2020. 323(13): p. 1239-1242.
14. Republic of Turkey Ministry of Health, The current situation in Turkey. 2020.
Accessed 24 June 2020.
15. Nutraingredients, Global survey shows immune support is top health goal. 2020. Accessed 01 June 2020.
16. High, K.P., Nutritional strategies to boost immunity and prevent infection in elderly individuals. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2001. 33(11): p. 1892-1900.
17. Gomes, F., et al., ESPEN guidelines on nutritional support for polymorbid internal medicine patients. Clinical Nutrition, 2018. 37(1): p. 336-353.
18. Singer, P., et al., ESPEN guideline on clinical nutrition in the intensive care unit. Clinical Nutrition, 2019. 38(1): p. 48-79.
19. Barazzoni, R., et al., ESPEN expert statements and practical guidance for nutritional management of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Clinical Nutrition, 2020. 39: p. 1631-1638.
20. Zhang, L. and Y. Liu, Potential interventions for novel coronavirus in China: a systemic review. Journal of Medical Virology, 2020. 92(5): p. 479-490.
21. Wang, L.S., et al., A review of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) based on current evidence. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 2020. 105948.
22. World Health Organization, Food and nutrition tips during self-quarintine. 2020. 24 June 2020.
23. Jin, Y.H., et al., A rapid advice guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infected pneumonia (standard version). Military Medical Research, 2020. 7(1): p. 4.
24. Caccialanza, R., et al., Early nutritional supplementation in non-critically ill patients hospitalized for the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Rationale and feasibility of a shared pragmatic protocol. Nutrition, 2020. 110835.
25. Short, K.R., K. Kedzierska, E.C. van de Sandt, Back to the future: lessons learned from the 1918 influenza pandemic. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 2018. 8: p. 343.
26. Reyes, L., et al., Population‐based surveillance for 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus in Guatemala, 2009. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, 2010. 4(3): p. 129-140.
27. Rodríguez-Martín, B.C. and A. Meule, Food craving: new contributions on its assessment, moderators, and consequences. Frontiers in Psychology, 2015. 6: p. 21.
28. Moynihan, A.B., et al., Eaten up by boredom: Consuming food to escape awareness of the bored self. Frontiers in Psychology, 2015. 6: p. 369.
29. Republic of Turkey Ministry of Health, Türkiye beslenme ve sağlık araştırması. 2010. Accessed 01 June 2020.
30. Republic of Turkey Ministry of Health, Türkiye beslenme rehberi. 2015.,tuber-turkiye-beslenme-rehberipdf.pdf. Accessed 01 June 2020.
31. Alpar, R., Uygulamalı çok değişkenli istatistiksel yöntemler. 2013. Ankara: Detay Yayıncılık.
32. Bagozzi, R.P. and Y. Yi, On the Evaluation of Structural Equation Models. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 1988. 16: p. 74-94.
33. Bollen, K. and R. Lennox, Conventional wisdom on measurement: A structural equation perspective. Psychological Bulletin, 1991. 110(2): p. 305-314.
34. Jöreskog, K.G. and D. Sörbom, LISREL 8: Structural equation modeling with the SIMPLIS command language. 1993. Chicago, IL, US; Hillsdale, NJ, US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
35. Kline, R.B., Methodology in the social sciences. Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. 1998. New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.
36. Meydan, C. and. H. Şeşen, Yapısal eşitlik modellemesi AMOS uygulamaları. 2015. Ankara. Detay Yayıncılık.
37. Şimşek, Ö.F., Yapısal eşitlik modellemesine giriş: Temel ilkeler ve LISREL uygulamaları. 2007. Ankara: Ekinoks.
38. Kalaycı, Ş., SPSS Uygulamalı Çok Değişkenli İstatistik Teknikleri. 2010. Ankara: Asil Yayın Dağıtım.
39. Hemilä, H., Vitamin C intake and susceptibility to pneumonia. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 1997. 16(9): p. 836-837.
40. Naik, S.R., N.V. Thakare, P.F. Joshi, Functional foods and herbs as potential immunoadjuvants and medicines in maintaining healthy immune system: A commentary. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 2010. 7(1): p. 46.
41. te Velthuis A.J., et al., Zn2+ inhibits coronavirus and arterivirus RNA polymerase activity in vitro and zinc ionophores block the replication of these viruses in cell culture. PLoS Pathogens, 2010. 6(11): p. e1001176.
42. Gibson, A., et al., Effect of fruit and vegetable consumption on immune function in older people: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012. 96(6): p. 1429-1436.
43. Nonnecke, B.J., et al., Acute phase response elicited by experimental bovine diarrhea virus (BVDV) infection is associated with decreased vitamin D and E status of vitamin-replete preruminant calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 2014. 97(9): p. 5566-5579.
44. Carr, A.C. and S. Maggini, Vitamin C and immune function. Nutrients, 2017. 9(11): p. 1211.
45. Huang, Z., et al., Role of vitamin A in the immune system. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2018. 7(9): p. 258.
46. Das, U.N., Can Bioactive Lipids Inactivate Coronavirus (COVID-19)?. Archives of Medical Research, 2020. 51: p. 282-286.
47. Grant, W.B., et al., Evidence that vitamin D supplementation could reduce risk of influenza and COVID-19 infections and deaths. Nutrients, 2020. 12(4): p. 988.
48. Derbyshire, E. and J. Delange, COVID-19: is there a role for immunonutrition, particularly in the over 65s?. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, 2020. bmjnph-2020: p. 1-6.
49. Semba, R.D. and M.A. Tang, Micronutrients and the pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus infection. British Journal of Nutrition, 1999. 81(3): p. 181-189.
50. Kańtoch, M., et al., Importance of vitamin A deficiency in pathology and immunology of viral infections. Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny, 2002. 53(4): p. 385-392.
51. Sinha, S., et al., Systematic cell line-based identification of drugs modifying ACE2 expression. Preprints, 2020.
52. Keil, S.D., R. Bowen, and S. Marschner, Inactivation of M iddle E ast respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS‐C o V) in plasma products using a riboflavin‐based and ultraviolet light‐based photochemical treatment. Transfusion, 2016. 56(12): p. 2948-2952.
53. Atherton, J.G., C.C. Kratzing, and A. Fisher, The effect of ascorbic acid on infection of chick-embryo ciliated tracheal organ cultures by coronavirus. Archives of Virology, 1978. 56(3): p. 195-199.
54. Hemilä, H., Vitamin C and SARS coronavirus. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2003. 52(6): p. 1049-1050.
55. The Turkish Dietetic Association, COVID-19 beslenme önerileri. 2020. Accessed 20 June 2020.
56. Volkert, D., et al., ESPEN guideline on clinical nutrition and hydration in geriatrics. Clinical Nutrition, 2019. 38(1): p. 10-47.
57. Bankova, V.S., L.S. de Castro, and C.M. Marcucci, Propolis: recent advances in chemistry and plant origin. Apidologie, 2000. 31(1): p. 3-15.
58. Wagh, V.D., Propolis: a wonder bees product and its pharmacological potentials. Advances in Pharmacological Sciences, 2013. 2013: p. 308249.
59. Güler, H.I., et al., An investigation of ethanolic propolis extracts: Their potential inhibitor properties against ACE-II receptors for COVID-19 treatment by Molecular Docking Study. ScienceOpen Preprints, 2020.
60. Maruta, H. and H. He, PAK1-blockers: Potential Therapeutics against COVID-19. Medicine in Drug Discovery, 2020. 100039.
61. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Health and nutritional properties of probiotics in food including powder milk with live lactic acid bacteria. In the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation report on Evaluation of Health and Nutritional Properties of Probiotics in Food Including Powder Milk with Live Lactic Acid Bacteria. October 2001. Accessed 01 June 2020.
62. Sæterdal, I., V. Underland, S.E. Nilsen, The effect of probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 2012. 1(2): p. 124.
63. Ozen, M., G.S. Kocabas, and C.E. Dinleyici, Probiotics for the prevention of pediatric upper respiratory tract infections: a systematic review. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy, 2015. 15(1): p. 9-20.
64. West, C.E., et al., Bugging allergy; role of pre-, pro-and synbiotics in allergy prevention. Allergology International, 2017. 66(4): p. 529-538.
65. Mak, J.W., K.F. Chan, and C.S. Ng, Probiotics and COVID-19: one size does not fit all. The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 2020. 5(7): p. 644-645.
66. King, S., et al., Effectiveness of probiotics on the duration of illness in healthy children and adults who develop common acute respiratory infectious conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Nutrition, 2014.112(1): p. 41-54.
67. Hao, Q., R.B. Dong, and T. Wu, Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2015. 2: p. CD006895.
68. Quick, M., Cochrane commentary: probiotics for prevention of acute upper respiratory infection. Explore, 2015. 11(5): p. 418-420.
69. Prince, C., A comprehensive review of probiotics and their uses for control of viral infections in the wake of pandemic COVID-19. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, 2020. 7(2): p. 01-14.
70. Dhar, D. and A. Mohanty, Gut microbiota and Covid-19-possible link and implications. Virus Research, 2020. 198018.
71. Bedirli, A., et al., Beta-glucan attenuates inflammatory cytokine release and prevents acute lung injury in an experimental model of sepsis. Shock, 2007. 27(4): p. 397-401.
72. Friedman, M., Mushroom polysaccharides: chemistry and antiobesity, antidiabetes, anticancer, and antibiotic properties in cells, rodents, and humans. Foods, 2016. 5(4): p. 80.
73. Fuller, R., et al., Yeast-derived β-1, 3/1, 6 glucan, upper respiratory tract infection and innate immunity in older adults. Nutrition, 2017. 39: p. 30-35.
74. Jesenak, M., I. Urbancikova, and P. Banovcin, Respiratory tract infections and the role of biologically active polysaccharides in their management and prevention. Nutrients, 2017. 9(7): p. 779.
75. Khan, M.F., et al., Identification of dietary molecules as therapeutic agents to combat COVID-19 using molecular docking studies. Computational Chemistry Preprint, 2020.
76. Maguire, G., Stem cells, part of the innate and adaptive immune systems, as an antimicrobial for coronavirus Covid-19. Stem Cells, Health, Technology, 2020. 20 June 2020.
77. Talbott, S.M. and A.J. Talbott, Baker's yeast beta-glucan supplement reduces upper respiratory symptoms and improves mood state in stressed women. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2013. 31(4): p. 295-300.