Kids and teens became particularly vulnerable to becoming fat and unhealthy as the flu epidemic unfolded across the world according to a new CDC study. This report, released on Thursday, included 432.302 persons aged 2 to 19 and, along with many other aspects, revealed that the proportion of adolescent and obese children grew to 22% compared to 19% prior to the epidemic. The CDC found that younger children like pre-teens are gaining more weight than their older counterparts. This is bad because overweight children can develop conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer later on in life.
“These findings underscore the importance of efforts to prevent excess weight gain during and following the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as during future public health emergencies, including increased access to efforts that promote healthy behaviors. These efforts could include screening by health care providers for BMI, food security, and social determinants of health, increased access to evidence-based pediatric weight management programs and food assistance resources, and state, community, and school resources to facilitate healthy eating, physical activity, and chronic disease prevention,” reads the study.
IQVIA’s Ambulatory Electronic Medical Records represented the source of the data used by the CDC for research. This makes it necessary to determine the factors that contribute to weight gain among children. Researchers have found that high stress, online school, altered habits, and lack of exercise and adequate nutrition are all key contributors.
According to the study, the prevalence of obesity was boosted most drastically among children between 6 and 11 years of age, who were more reliant on caregivers and more vulnerable when schools halted their lessons in person. Researchers acknowledged certain limitations to their study: They stated that only kids that were cared for before and throughout the epidemic were involved in the study. It also did not examine the possible differences between ethnic and racial obesity trends.