Childhood Obesity Worsens Due to Pandemic

Alteration of the regular diet, as well as an increase in food ingestion and sedentarism, are some of the factors that have contributed to an increase in childhood obesity during the past months.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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The imitation of certain unhealthy behaviors from their parents could also be a risk factor for childhood obesity, which affects 10% of boys and girls between ages 2 to 17. Even though it is less important, genetics could also increase this pathology. Although obesity can be managed by exercising frequently and by following a healthy diet at young ages, it is more difficult to modify certain habits or attitudes towards food that end following people to adulthood. For instance, sedentarism increased consumption of caloric products and unbalanced diets are hard to modify in adults.

According to a report published by Revista Española de Cardiología, the fact that habits that start in young people are hard to modify contributes to the tendency of increased obesity in the last 30 years. The report also mentions that more than 80% of the population will be overweight by the year 2030.

The Woman Post shares some interesting advice to prevent childhood obesity:

1. We must always encourage exercise and a balanced diet as a way to prevent this health problem.

2. Parents play an important role in helping their children implement healthy routines, limiting the use of screens that have been growing due to the pandemic and lock-downs, and also setting up some daily time for sports activities.


3. It is essential to help children eat grains, dairy, fruits, and vegetables, and prevent them from eating very sugary products or those that are high in trans-fat.

4. It is also key to teach children to select healthy foods and to quantify correctly the amount that should be consumed.

5. We should teach children to chew food slowly and to stick to recommended snack times, to control weight and prevent obesity without having to use strict diets.

It is worth highlighting that the incidence of excess weight and obesity has increased during the pandemic and lockdowns, according to a study conducted by Sociedad Española de Obesidad. These two have mostly affected the young population, and have been caused by a combination of factors such as the alteration in food ingestion, the lack of exercise, and increased time in screens like computers, mobile phones, and video games. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families experimented with unhealthy culinary techniques which translated into overeating, and the ingestión of more caloric foods, particularly affecting children. Also, the obligation to stay home due to constant lock-downs, combined with little to no physical activities, and access to several unhealthy and processed foods, as well as sugary products, contributed to an unbalanced diet in which ingested food was highly superior to the energy needs, making space for obesity overweight in children. It is important to bear in mind that you are always on time to instill healthy diet and exercise habits in young children.

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