FOOD-RELATED COPING STRATEGIES ADOPTED BY SOME HOUSEHOLDS DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWN IN NIGERIA
Keywords:COVID-19, Food coping strategies, Food consumption, Food security, Lockdown, Nigeria
As part of the measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Nigeria during the early stages of the pandemic, a lockdown of movements within and from outside the country was declared by the federal government. This article presents findings on food-related coping strategies adopted during the COVID-19 lockdown in Nigeria. A cross sectional survey using an online based questionnaire received responses from 883 households regarding information on food consumption, health seeking behaviour and food coping strategies during the COVID-19 lockdown. Food Coping Strategy Index (FCSI) was computed from the data received based on standard methods. Analysis and presentation of data was done using descriptive and inferential statistics. The key findings show that daily mealtimes generally reduced from an average of 3 to 2 times. The storage capacity of households showed an average of 2-week food stock of staples, and most of the respondents had started reducing either their usual portion sizes or frequency of meals in order to cope with food shortages. As regards health seeking behavior, older respondents were more likely to take prophylactic medication (p<0.004) and there was a higher preference for fruits and Vitamin C as prophylactic items. A negative correlation between FCSI with mealtime during COVID-19 lockdown (p<0.000) and monthly income (p<0.000) was observed. The findings presented provide information for policy intervention in the areas of social safety nets and palliatives disbursement in the event of similar lockdown restrictions in the future.
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