FRIDAY, 17 September 2021 (HealthDay News) – Childhood obesity was a concern before the pandemic, and now it’s worryingly worse, new data shows.
A US study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a large increase in gain weight for children ‘it is’ substantial and worrying’, said dr. Alyson Goodman, one of the authors of the study, to the Associated Press.
For the study, researchers reviewed the medical records of 432,000 American children and teens between the ages of 2 and 19. The children were weighed and measured at least twice before the pandemic and at least once between June and the end of November last year..
The research team was led by Samantha Lange of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. According to theAP, the researchers found that the number of children and teenagers who were there obese grew to 22.4% in August 2020, compared to 19.3% in 2019, exacerbating the long-standing obesity epidemic in the United States.
Children who had healthy weights, had moderate obesity, or had severe obesity all show more weight gain than previous average years, the study found.
Children who were severely obese gained about 14.6 pounds compared to the 8.8 pounds of the expected annual weight gain, the APreported. Those who had moderate obesity were expected to gain about 6.5 pounds, but about 12 pounds. Those who have a healthy weight gained 3.4 pounds a year, but it increased to 5.4 pounds during the pandemic.
Children between the ages of 6 and 11 had the largest increase in obesity, the AP reported. According to the study, they are more dependent on their parents and may have been more affected by the loss of personal schooling.
According to the AP, the new study is the largest review of childhood obesity trends so far during the pandemic. Its limitations include not looking at how obesity trends differ between racial and ethnic groups. It also included only U.S. children who received medical care before and during the pandemic.
Obesity is a problem that affects all ages. The number of states in which 35% or more of the population is obese includes four more this year than last year, the CDC announced earlier. These states are Delaware, Iowa, Ohio, and Texas, which have joined Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. The results are based on self-reporting of height and weight by adults.
Obesity can also increase the risk of serious illness due to COVID-19, according to experts.
The new study was published in the September 17 issue of the CDCs Weekly report on morbidity and mortality.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on this obesity in children.
SOURCE: Associated Press, 16 September 2021