COVID-19 lockdown can worsen obesity issues in children, suggests study

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |

Published: June 5, 2020 4:40:41 pm

junk food, childhood obesity Study found that lockdown negatively impacted a child’s food and sleep pattern. (Source: Getty images)

The lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has impacted our lifestyles. While it may have motivated some to keep fit by eating healthy and exercising, for some it has also led to irregular sleep and diet patterns. Not to mention the impact of the lockdown on one’s mental health.

A study conducted by the University at Buffalo has now found that the lockdown could also negatively impact diet, sleep and physical activity among children with obesity. Why is why it is crucial to keep your child active; take a look at how Shilpa Shetty is encouraging son Viaan to stay fit.

The study, published in the journal Obesity, examined overweight children in Italy, who were under confinement throughout March and April. Their sleeping and eating patterns, and screen time a year prior and during the lockdown were compared. It was found that children ate an additional meal per day, slept an extra half hour per day, and added nearly five hours per day in front of the phone, television and computer. Physical activity, however, decreased by more than two hours per week.

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“Children and teens struggling with obesity are placed in an unfortunate position of isolation that appears to create an unfavorable environment for maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviors,” Myles Faith, PhD, UB childhood obesity expert and co-author on the study, was quoted as saying by Science Daily.

“School environments provide structure and routine around mealtimes, physical activity and sleep — three predominant lifestyle factors implicated in obesity risk,” Faith asserted.

The study was led by Steven Heymsfield, MD, professor, Louisiana State University Pennington Biomedical Research Center; and Angelo Pietrobelli, MD, professor, University of Verona, Italy.

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