Saudi community care awareness food facts, nutrients, immune system and COVID-19 prevention in Taif City among different age categories
In December 2019, a new coronavirus was discovered in China, sparking a serious pandemic of human acute respiratory syndrome which spread worldwide at a fast rate. Public health knowledge and awareness is required on food facts, nutrients and immune system for coronavirus prevention. The study designed to investigate COVID-19 impact on dietary intake, knowledge, habits, activities and lifestyle among the people in Taif City. Data collection was conducted from the 4th to the 29th of June 2020. A total of 312 respondents, aged from ≤ 12 to ≥ 65 years were involved in the survey. About 81% of the respondents were with high education level (bachelor's degree or higher). Results show that the most frequent diseases in descending order of magnitude were obesity, dental problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, low immunity and colon problems. Data collected showed an increase in food intake frequency during the epidemic except for (4.44, 41.82,12.86, and 30.51 %), like fish, bread, pasta and fast food, respectively. Two hundred and eight (208) of the respondents preferred to use olive oil in their diet due to its several benefits. The majority of the respondents preferred star anise (124) followed by sagebrush (44) as herbal drinks in descending order, respectively. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the study population reported to eat more herbs such as garlic (169), ginger (152) and curcuma (103) to enhance the immune system. Multivitamin (66) and vitamin D intake were reported as the highest, while vitamin B Group and ascorbic acid recorded similar intakes values. Mineral supplement intake in descending order were reported as calcium (57), iron (37) zinc (29) and selenium (5). Around 119 of the respondents had no knowledge on the exact source of COVID-19, while 113 reported as an infection from a bat to humans. The respondents recognized the symptoms as fever (270) and shortness of breath (249). Observing social distance and hand washing were chosen by most respondents (301) as a way of preventing the infection. Two cases of smokers quit the smoking habit; a minor increase rate of training activity was reported; almost all of the respondents embraced the consumption of functional foods, oils, herbs, roots, colored fruits and vegetables and special supplements during COVID-19. Knowledge on COVID-19 had significant positive impact on the respondents’ healthy eating habits, physical exercise, water intake and reduced smoking. Findings recommended intensifying efforts in sensitizing the public to a better understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening the immune system.
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