Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate weight management-related Google search trends in Turkey prompted by the pandemic.
Methods: Keywords were “diet”, “dietitian”, “body mass index”, “exercise”, “calorie”, “weight gain”, “healthy nutrition”, “weight loss”, “fat burning”, “slimming”, “online diet” and “online dietitian”. Data collection and time series analysis were completed using the 4.1.0 version of the R Studio program and its gtrendsR, ggplot2, prophet, dplyr, forecast and ggforce packages. SPSS software version 17 was used for statistical analysis of keyword relative search volumes (RSVs) during the prepandemic, early pandemic and late pandemic periods.
Results: The RSV of “dietitian” keyword was significantly higher in the late pandemic period than in the early pandemic period (p< 0.05). “Exercise” and “online diet” keywords had significantly higher RSVs in the early pandemic period than in the prepandemic period (p< 0.05). The search queries for “healthy nutrition” were significantly lower in the late pandemic period than in the prepandemic period (p< 0.05). According to the search volume for the previous 10 years, the predicted search trends of “body mass index”, “exercise”, “healthy nutrition”, “online diet” and “online dietitian” tended to increase depending on the seasonal search profile.
Conclusion: A large increase in actual and predicted search queries of “online dietitian” can provide some cues about public tendencies in the postpandemic era in Turkey. Some guidelines, including web-based communication competencies in dietitian-patient relationships and follow-ups of the diet on the online platform, should be published for the postpandemic period by authorities.