CORONAVIRUS & OBESITY IN CHILDREN
Lockdowns implemented across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively impacted diet, sleep and physical activity among children with obesity. Children and adolescents typically gain more weight during summer vacation than during the school year, which led the researchers to wonder if being homebound would have a similar effect on the kids' lifestyle behaviors. School environments provide structure and routine around mealtimes, physical activity and sleep -- three predominant lifestyle factors implicated in obesity risk.
Compared to behaviors recorded a year prior, the children ate an additional meal per day; slept an extra half hour per day; added nearly five hours per day in front of phone, computer and television screens; and dramatically increased their consumption of red meat, sugary drinks and junk foods.
Physical activity, on the other hand, decreased by more than two hours per week, and the amount of vegetables consumed remained unchanged.
Physical activity declines from the age of school entry and low physical activity is rapidly becoming a social norm. Yet, physical activity is known to reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers and to improve children’s ability to learn, their mental health and well-being. Moreover, childhood experience can influence lifelong physical activity behaviors.
Preventing kids from becoming overweight means making choices in the way your family eats and exercises, and how you spend time together. Helping kids lead healthy lifestyles begins with parents who lead by example.
Childhood obesity undermines the physical, social and psychological well-being of children and is a known risk factor for adult obesity and noncommunicable diseases. There is an urgent need to act now to improve the health of this and the next generation of children. Overweight and obesity cannot be solved through individual action alone. Comprehensive responses are needed to create healthy environments that can support individuals in making healthy choices grounded on knowledge and skills related to health and nutrition. These responses require government commitment and leadership, long-term investment and engagement of the whole of society to protect the rights of children to good health and well-being. Progress can be made if all actors remain committed to working together towards a collective goal of ending childhood obesity
Our Pediatricians at Prime Health are trained and supported with tools and resources to deliver high quality obesity assessment, treatment & prevention. Book an appointment on 047070981 today.