Restrictions related to the novel coronavirus imposed around the world have negatively affected the eating, sleeping and physical activity of obese children. This is according to research experts at the University at Buffalo.
Many children are currently suffering from obesity. And not only those across the ocean.
In the study, they observed 41 children from the Italian city of Verona during March and April. Compared to the results of last year’s observation, the children ate one more meal during the day, slept 30 minutes longer and spent five hours more each day in front of the television, computer or smartphone. The consumption of red meat, sugary drinks and unhealthy foods has also increased dramatically. They devoted more than two hours less to physical activity per week. They consumed approximately the same amount of vegetables.
“The tragic COVID-19 pandemic also has side effects that go beyond the infection itself. “Children and teenagers with obesity have been left in an unfortunate isolation that creates an unhealthy environment to ensure a healthy lifestyle,” said childhood obesity expert Myles Faith from the aforementioned university.
The study was led by Steven Heymsfield of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana and Angelo Pietrobelli of the University of Verona. Faith said children are more likely to gain weight during the summer holidays, as they have a “routine around food, physical activity and sleep – three factors that are associated with obesity risk” during the school year.
“Depending on the duration of the restrictions, weight gain may not be easily reversed and may contribute to obesity in adulthood if healthier behaviors are not resumed,” Faith said.