Society’s adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic had an objective to best protect those at the highest risk of serious effects from the virus; however, some of those changes came at the expense of children’s mental and physical health.
The psychological effects of masks and online classrooms on our nation’s youth have been well documented during the lockdowns, but a new study looking at the number of kids that reached an unhealthy BMI due to the lack of activity and unhealthy habits now poses a long-term concern with obesity, according to the CDC.
A CDC dataset looking at the median BMI (body mass index) of children before and after the 2020 pandemic year concluded that nearly double the amount of children resulted with higher than average BMI’s. The New York Post report highlighted that, “children who started 2020 at a normal weight, or overweight, showed an increased rate of BMI across the board […] the underweight cohort saw little to no rate of change.”
The CDC’s findings analyzed BMI data was drawn from medical records “of more than 430,000 US children aged 2 to 19 years.” The study adds, “The rate of change among obese children during the eight-month study was 5.3 times higher during the pandemic, suggesting weight gain. On average, these kids gained between 1.0 and 1.2 pounds per month”
“That’s one of the biggest issues that some of my patients have brought,” commented Dr. Jun Tashiro, a pediatric surgeon from Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone. “This pandemic has truly caused them to backslide on the weight loss goals … or that they’ve become heavier than they’ve ever been before.”
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