COVID-19 and Changes in Child Obesity

COVID-19 and Changes in Child Obesity
Posted on 05/26/2021

COVID Obesity Pic
HLM Highlights:
The shutdowns and quarantine due to COVID-19 have had several negative effects on people around the country. These include “economic hardship, school closings, limited physical activities, and increased food insecurity for many families.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) conducted a study to determine what effects these events had on childhood obesity. 

- Methods: The AAP looked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Care Network, which treats about 300k patients from semi-rural to urban demographics.
- Results: Overall, obesity prevalence rose by almost 2%. This increase was more prominent in 5-9 year olds, Hispanics, non-Hispanic Blacks, the publicly insured, and people with lower income.

- Discussion: The COVID-19 shutdowns have exacerbated the growing disparities in obesity rates between a) Black/Hispanic vs. White/Asian children and  b) affluent, well-educated vs. economically and educationally disadvantaged households.
- This study shows that the healthcare system needs to step up to combat this issue from multiple angles. 

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