The more sedentary lifestyles children experienced during the pandemic have resulted in substantial weight gain.
A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined the weight of over 432,000 persons age 2-19 from March 2020 to November 2020. It found that the rate of increase of body mass index among that cohort nearly doubled, from 0.052 to 0.100.
During the pandemic, many schools reverted to online learning partially or in full. Experts warned that without recess and other school-related physical activity, children would gain more weight, exacerbating the already serious public health problem of childhood obesity.
Previous research in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that California youth gained more weight during the pandemic than before. Other studies have found that weight gain was particularly acute among low-income children and among African American and Hispanic children.
The CDC study found that weight gain was largest in those children and teenagers who already had weight problems.
“Persons aged 2–19 years with overweight or obesity during the prepandemic period experienced significantly higher rates of BMI increase during the pandemic period than did those with healthy weight,” according to the study.
Those who were overweight gained an average of 6.1 pounds during that period, and those who were obese gained 7.3 pounds. Those with healthy weights gained an average of 2.7 pounds.
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Original Author: David Hogberg
Original Location: Pandemic causes childhood obesity to worsen