Quarantined Cities Like NYC Could See Spike In Childhood Obesity


Public health experts believe one impact of the coronavirus pandemic will be an increase in childhood obesity across the United States with children quarantined at home 🙏🏾

Andrew Rundle, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and his colleagues expect that COVID-19-related school closures will double out-of-school time this year for many children and exacerbate risk factors for weight gain associated with summer recess:

“There could be long-term consequences for weight gained while children are out of school during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rundle, who specializes in research to prevent childhood obesity. Research shows that weight gained over the summer months is maintained during the school year and accrues summer to summer. When a child experiences obesity, even at a young age, they are at risk for higher, unhealthy weight, all the way into middle age. The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for widespread sickness and death, straining healthcare systems, shutting down economies, and closing school districts. While it is a priority to mitigate its immediate impact, it is important to consider ways to prevent its long-term effects, including new risks for childhood obesity.”

The researchers recommend several solutions to mitigate the potential health fallout for children recommending that cities and states should consider farmers markets, which often offer a range of specialty and prepared foods, as part of essential food services. They also say that schools should make physical education a priority, with home lesson plans for physical activity or streaming/virtual exercise classes.

Photo: Getty

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