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.
The paediatric weight management office visit via telemedicine: pre- to post-COVID-19 pandemic.
Pediatric obesity. 2020;(8):e12694
Telemedicine is a powerful tool that erases many logistical barriers to care and may increase access. Due to the need for social distancing, the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily reduced in-person visits for clinical care. Providers, clinical staff and patients are pressed to acutely learn new skills and adapt clinical care through the use of telemedicine whilst administrators, policy makers and regulatory organizations make changes to existing policies to meet this national emergency. Our tertiary care, interdisciplinary paediatric weight management clinic began the use of telemedicine 5 years ago to bring access to an underserved, rural population at their primary care office, which has allowed our clinic to pivot seamlessly to in-home telemedicine visits during the pandemic. Telemedicine rules and regulations are rapidly changing to meet the COVID-19 national emergency, but many supports for new telemedicine providers are already in place. In this article, we provide an overview of telemedicine components, policies and regulations. We review the operationalization of our clinic's telemedicine visit prior to the pandemic. We discuss how telemedicine services are impacted by COVID-19 and key resources are provided. Finally, we reimagine telemedicine services post-pandemic to expand effective, coordinated health care, particularly for patients with chronic needs such as obesity.