Nearly half of American children between the ages of 5 and 11 are overweight following the lockdowns, according to a study published last week.
The study, titled “Changes in Body Mass Index Among Children and Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” compared the body mass index of youth from 5 to 17-years-old during the pandemic in 2020 to the same period before the pandemic in 2019.
“Overweight or obesity increased among 5- through 11-year-olds from 36.2% to 45.7% during the pandemic, an absolute increase of 8.7% and relative increase of 23.8% compared with the reference period,” the researchers found.
Children from 12-15 gained an average of five pounds, while those who are 16 and 17 gained an average of 2.3 extra pounds.
The researchers concluded that “significant weight gain occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic among youths in KPSC, especially among the youngest children. These findings, if generalizable to the US suggest an increase in pediatric obesity due to the pandemic.”
To address the issue, the study authors suggested that “research should monitor whether the observed weight gain persists and what long-term health consequences may emerge. Intervention efforts to address COVID-19 related weight gain may be needed.”
“School is essential,” Dr. Tim Logemann of the Wausau Aspirus Hospital Cardiologist and Obesity Treatment Program in Wisconsin told The Federalist. He placed blame directly on students having to do remote learning during much of the school year. “Kids are eating ultra-processed foods locked in at home and it’s making them sicker.”
The Federalist report noted that “in December 2019, an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine projected nearly 60 percent of those aged between 2 and 19 in 2016 will be obese by the time they’re 35. But that was written months before the coronavirus pandemic, which has likely accelerated the timeline for the authors’ prophecy to come true far sooner.”
“The obesity crisis is a crisis, it is the true pandemic,” Logemann added.
“Eat your vegetables, like your grandma says,” Logemann continued. “It doesn’t have to be complicated… At the end of the day, just eat good, real food.”