Weight-Related Behaviors of Children with Obesity during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Childhood obesity (Print). 2021;(6):371-378
Background: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, children and families have had to adapt their daily lives. The purpose of this study was to describe changes in the weight-related behaviors of children with obesity after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Semistructured interviews (n = 51) were conducted from April to June 2020 with parents of children with obesity. Families were participants in a randomized trial testing a clinic-community pediatric obesity treatment model. During interviews, families described their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular emphasis on children's diet, physical activity, sleep, and screen time behaviors. Rapid qualitative analysis methods were used to identify themes around changes in children's weight-related behaviors. Results: The mean child age was 9.7 (±2.8) years and the majority of children were Black (46%) or Hispanic (39%) and from low-income families (62%). Most parent participants were mothers (88%). There were differences in the perceived physical activity level of children, with some parents attributing increases in activity or maintenance of activity level to increased outdoor time, whereas others reported a decline due to lack of outdoor time, school, and structured activities. Key dietary changes included increased snacking and more meals prepared and consumed at home. There was a shift in sleep schedules with children going to bed and waking up later and an increase in leisure-based screen time. Parents played a role in promoting activity and managing children's screen time. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique lifestyle challenges and opportunities for lifestyle modification. Clinical Trials ID: NCT03339440.
Weight Gain Associated with COVID-19 Lockdown in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
BACKGROUND Lockdown is an effective nonpharmaceutical intervention to reduce coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission, but it restricts daily activity. We aimed to investigate the impact of lockdown on pediatric body weight and body mass index (BMI). METHODS The systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) statement. Four online databases (EMBASE, Medline, the Cochrane Library and CINAHL) were searched. RESULTS The pooled results showed that lockdown was associated with significant body weight gain (MD 2.67, 95% CI 2.12-3.23; p < 0.00001). The BMI of children with comorbidities or obesity did not change significantly. The BMI of general population was significantly higher during lockdown than before the pandemic (MD 0.94, 95% CI 0.32-1.56; p = 0.003). However, heterogeneity was high (I2 = 84%). Among changes in weight classification, increases in the rates of obesity (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.10-1.37; p = 0.0002) and overweight (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.06-1.29; p = 0.001) were reported. CONCLUSIONS Our meta-analysis showed significant increases in body weight and BMI during lockdown among school-age children and adolescents. The prevalence of obesity and overweight also increased. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened the burden of childhood obesity.
COVID-19 and obesity in childhood and adolescence: a clinical review.
Jornal de pediatria. 2020;(5):546-558
OBJECTIVE To identify factors that contribute to the increased susceptibility and severity of COVID-19 in obese children and adolescents, and its health consequences. SOURCES Studies published between 2000 and 2020 in the PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, SciELO, and Cochrane databases. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS Obesity is a highly prevalent comorbidity in severe cases of COVID-19 in children and adolescents; social isolation may lead to increase fat accumulation. Excessive adipose tissue, deficit in lean mass, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, high levels of proinflammatory cytokines, and low intake of essential nutrients are factors that compromise the functioning of organs and systems in obese individuals. These factors are associated with damage to immune, cardiovascular, respiratory, and urinary systems, along with modification of the intestinal microbiota (dysbiosis). In severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, these organic changes from obesity may increase the need for ventilatory assistance, risk of thromboembolism, reduced glomerular filtration rate, changes in the innate and adaptive immune response, and perpetuation of the chronic inflammatory response. CONCLUSIONS The need for social isolation can have the effect of causing or worsening obesity and its comorbidities, and pediatricians need to be aware of this issue. Facing children with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, health professionals should 1) diagnose excess weight; 2) advise on health care in times of isolation; 3) screen for comorbidities, ensuring that treatment is not interrupted; 4) measure levels of immunonutrients; 5) guide the family in understanding the specifics of the situation; and 6) refer to units qualified to care for obese children and adolescents when necessary.