Objective: After Covid-19 pandemic was declared, a number of restrictions have been imposed all over the world. We aimed to detect changes in eating habits of children and adults during Covid-19 pandemic when lifestyle changes were inevitable due to these restrictions.
Methods: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. The data collection process was completed by online questionnaire forms sent via mail system. There were questions about demographic characteristics of the participants and their children, lifestyle changes during the pandemic period and awareness of the pandemic. Participants with more than one child were asked to use the information of their youngest children. In statistical analyzes we used Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) 20.0 for Windows. Pearson Chi-square test was used for comparisons of categorical variables. The significance level was accepted as p≤ 0.05 in all statistical processes.
Results: A total of 327 people between 19-65 years of age participated in this study, and 174 of them had children with a mean age of 6.8 years, including 96 (55.7%) boys and 78 (44.3%) girls. Among all children, physical activity decreased in 101 (58%), screen time increased in 87 (50%) and 40 (23%) of them consumed their meals in front of the screen. The snacking habits of 130 (74.8%) children increased, 34 (19.5%) started consuming too much junk food and 12 of them (6.9%) gained weight. We observed that boys consumed more food than girls during their stay at home when compared to usual prerestriction days as they felt anxious and troubled (p=0.02).
Conclusion: Pandemics do not affect our lives not only with disease burden but also, have effects on daily lives of families and children. During this period, besides precautions against infection, special interest should be given to feeding, sleeping habits and physical activities that would boost immune system and measures should be taken to prevent harmful habits.