Childhood obesity has risen sharply during the pandemic

By Cara Murez

Health Day reporter

FRIDAY, September 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Childhood obesity was a concern before the pandemic, and now it’s worse, new data shows.

A study by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a “significant increase in weight gain for children “which is” substantial and alarming, “said Dr. Alyson Goodman, one of the study’s authors. Associated press.

For the study, researchers looked at the medical records of 432,000 American children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19. The children had been 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 toPA, investigators found that the number of children and adolescents obese had risen to 22.4% in August 2020, from 19.3% in 2019, exacerbating a long-standing obesity epidemic in the United States.

According to the study, children who were at a healthy weight, moderately obese, or severely obese all had greater weight gain than seen in previous average years.

Children who were severely obese gained about 14.6 pounds compared to the 8.8 pounds of expected annual weight gain, the PAreported. Those who were moderately obese should have gained around 6.5 pounds, but around 12 pounds. Those who had a healthy weight had gained 3.4 pounds per year, but that rose to 5.4 pounds during the pandemic.

Children aged 6 to 11 had the largest increases in obesity rates, PA reported. They are more dependent on their parents, according to the study, and may have been more affected by the loss of school in person.

According to PA, the new study is the largest journal of childhood obesity trends to date during the pandemic. Its limitations include that it did not examine how obesity trends differ between racial and ethnic groups. It also only included American 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 residents are obese includes four more this year than last year, the CDC said earlier. These states are Delaware, Iowa, Ohio and Texas, which joined Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma , South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. These results are based on the self-report of height and width by adults.

Obesity can also increase the risk of serious illness from COVID-19, experts note.

The new study was published in the September 17 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on childhood obesity.

THE SOURCE: Associated press, September 16, 2021

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