Credits: Obesity Problem

Coronavirus Pandemic Could Cause Childhood Obesity

The nutritionists around the globe are worried that the closing of schools, play areas, sports fields, and summer camps due to coronavirus pandemic could prompt a future spike in childhood obesity due to changes in eating routines and habits and a decrease in physical activities.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that childhood obesity has been increasing since the previous four decades in the whole world.

Rima Himelstein is a pediatrician specializing in adolescent health at Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington. She says, “With quarantine, it’s basically like an extended summer.” Children don’t have the opportunity to work out and take an interest in physical exercises like they take normally in their summer holidays.

The sedentary idea of online classes is also troubling. Children do not stroll from one room to another for their classes or have planned outside time and gym class. Also, numerous guardians are overloading their pantries with increasingly prepared foods that have longer periods of usability to limit the number of market trips, which can lead to overeating foods that frequently have high sugar and sodium levels.

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More than 33 percent of youth under age nineteen are obese or overweight. Childhood obesity is characterized as a body mass index (BMI) or over the 95th percentile for adolescents of a similar age and sex, which implies their BMI is higher than that of 95% of their friends. 

Angela Luciani is a registered dietitian in Philadelphia, She says that kids, particularly those who are already obese or from minority groups gain weight at a quicker rate during their summer vacations as compared to their school year. Researchers think that this happens largely because the food that children eat at home might be less nutritious than the food they eat at school.

The director of family medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Peter Bidey is concerned for children because they spend their most of time in front of screens. During this coronavirus pandemic, people are stuck in their homes. They are doing nothing. He said families might be eating more comfort foods which may high in calories and have no nutritional value as in fresh foods.

Bidey says that parents can protect their kids from childhood obesity during coronavirus pandemic by giving them healthy and fresh food.

Luciani suggests that guardians should ensure there are healthy snacks in the house. They should set times for breaks on the whole day for their kids.

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She said, “Families should make physical activity intentional. They should implement it as a daily part of their routine, like taking a 20-minute walk at lunchtime, going for a bike ride, or trying fitness apps and workouts on YouTube if it’s raining out. Even TikTok is a great way for people to get up and dance.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an exercise of an hour per day for teenagers. But it can be started with ten minutes and afterward parents should reward their kids for the progress they will make.

Himelstein also recommends eating healthy and fresh food and to adopt healthy activities like exercise, yoga, etc for feeling better not for looking great. She called attention that praising kids for losing weight could prompt an elusive incline. Instead, activities ought to be fun and loaded up with variety, “to animate various pieces of the cerebrum by moving in various ways.”

She advises people to use stairs, vegetables, and fruits at home. People should record their activities in a diary so that they can see everything they’re doing now contrasted with what they weren’t doing previously.