Striking Results from the COVID-19 Period Nutrition and Food Supplement Research of the Food Supplement and Nutrition Association
We Mostly Used Vitamins D and C, Started to Follow Dieticians on Social Media and We Put Sports Applications into Our Lives
Striking results were obtained in the study conducted by the Food Supplement and Nutrition Association to determine the change in the use of food supplements and nutritional habits of consumers during the COVID-19 period. According to the study conducted in 12 provinces including Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, the rate of those who used food supplements in the last three months of 2020 increased to 60%. While the participants were most interested in vitamins D and C; There has been an increase in the number of people who follow dieticians or nutritionists on social media and use healthy nutrition and sports applications.
The Food Supplement and Nutrition Association, which works to raise awareness of the public about food supplements and innovative approaches, carried out the third of the food supplement and nutrition research conducted in April and May 2020 in cooperation with Nielsen in December 2020. According to a study conducted among 608 people with 12 provinces in Turkey (İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Adana, Bursa, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Malatya, Samsun, Trabzon, Edirne) in the online survey method, while the rate of those who used food supplements in the last 3 months of 2020 was 60%; 4 out of 10 people stated that they use food supplements to increase their immunity from COVID-19. While 40% of the participants stated that they used food supplements more frequently in the last 3 months; Vitamins D and C received the most attention. The highest rate of use of food supplements was in the age range of 25-34. The results of the research are as follows:
The most important motivation is to strengthen the immune system
– While the most important motivation for using food supplements is to strengthen the immune system (82%); 4 out of 10 people stated that they use food supplements to protect against COVID-19.
– While 14% of the participants stated that they have regularly used food supplements for years; 6 out of every 10 people who have just started using food supplements (1 year or less) stated that they will continue to take food supplements in 2021. 4 out of every 10 people stated that the frequency of using food supplements has increased.
– 9 out of 10 people who used food supplements in the last 3 months of 2020 took vitamins. D, C, and multivitamins were the most consumed food supplements. Mineral and functional foods followed the vitamins.
We eat fruits and nuts as snacks.
- The number of people who follow a dietician or nutritionist on social media has increased. In the studies conducted in April and May, the rates of people who follow a dietician was between 31% and 29%, today it is at 40%. Likewise, the rate of people who said they’ve been to a dietician rose from 9% to 11%. Parallel to these, the use in healthy eating and exercising apps has increased. 5 out of 10 participants stated that they use an application related to nutrition or sports.
- 6 out of 10 participants said that they think they have a healthy diet in general. The proportion of those who think they eat healthy has increased in parallel with the average age. 46% of the participants stated that they are eat three meals a day and 52% of them stated they eat two main meals. 56% of the participants over the age of 55 said they eat three meals a day. 67% of the participants stated that they have snacks every day. Most consumed food items are fruit (74%) and dried nuts (68%).
People think food supplements are drugs
- 3 out of 10 people stated that food supplements are medicine, and the other 3 stated food supplements are food.
- While physicians continue to be the biggest reference for the use of food supplements with 61%; also pharmacists (45%), social media (21%) and advertisements (16%) were beginning to seen as references.
- The rate of those who said “My confidence in food supplements has increased” in the last month was 34%.
Serttaş: The pandemic reminds us the importance of immunity, proper nutrition and active life.
Evaluating the results of the research, Samet Serttaş, President of the Food Supplement and Nutrition Association, stated that the interest in food supplements increased with the COVID-19 pandemic and said:
“According to our research, 4 out of 10 people (41%) said they used food supplements to boost their immune system against COVID-19. This rate was 25% in the study we conducted in April and 17% in our study in May. Again, in our research, we see that the rate of those who use food supplements to increase their immune system from COVID-19 has increased significantly in all demographics, and the rate of food supplement use, which was high in women in the previous periods, became equal in both women and men in the end of December. Another striking result was the increased interest in dietitians and nutritionists and various sports applications. We understand that in this period when we are quarantined in our homes, people tend who gain weight want to do something about it. The pandemic has reminded all of us how important immunity, proper nutrition and active life are. Our research results points in this direction. In the light of these results, we will continue our efforts to inform the society with accurate data.”