Published: Date published – 22:42, Tue – 17 May
Hyderabad: Immunity boosters, information on brands that sell vitamin C and D supplements, Ayush Kadha, an Ayurvedic decoction designed to boost body immunity, information on traditional Indian spices such as ginger and garlic, were some of the most sought after topics of Indian Internet users during the two days. Covid pandemics, said a study by researchers at the Hyderabad-based National Nutrition Institute (NIN).
A study entitled “The Impact of” Pandemic Infodemia “on Food and Nutrition Perceptions and Practices of Indian Internet Users”, published in the peer-reviewed open-ended scientific journal “Plos One” in April this year, showed “that there has been an increase in Internet search terms. such as immunity, dietary supplements, vegetable cleaners, etc. during the peak of the Covid pandemic.
The relative search volume (RSV) for terms such as “Limcee”, “Zinc”, a popular Indian brand of vitamin C and zinc supplements, was found to be high and their search trends matched the unprecedented demand for these products in a timely manner. in India, ”said the NIN study.
A unique study on the search behavior of Indian network users during the Covid pandemic led by NICHE, Dr Subba Rao M Gavaravarapu, Head of Nutrition Information, Communication and Health Education (NICHE) and a leading scientist, along with other NIN researchers Reddy and Naresh Pittla.
The study assessed the trend of searching for food and nutrition reports related to Covid-19 by Indian Internet users between January 27, 2020 and June 30, 2021, the period between the first Covid case detected and the end of the second wave in India.
An online survey of 572 adult Indian Internet users reported high (71.9 percent) consumption of vitamin C-rich fruits as well as vitamin C supplements (68.2 percent) and zinc (61.4 percent) to boost immunity. Traditional Indian spices such as ginger and garlic were used by 62.9 percent and 50.9 percent of respondents, the study said.
Most respondents said they relied on social media to get Covid-19-related tips for strengthening immunity. The study emphasizes the need for media and health literacy to advocate the use of health information cautiously, NIN researchers stressed.
Disinformation has certainly affected social perceptions and exacerbated Covid-19’s already challenging situation in the country by sometimes distorting precise scientific guidelines, abusing emotions and creating taboos, horrors and prejudices among ordinary people, the researchers said in the study.