There were several unintended consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and weight gain was one of them. Many children have gained weight during the pandemic. Forty-two percent of respondents, according to a recent survey, put on weight while under lockdown. A recent investigation has revealed that youngsters have the same difficulties in accepting unexpected windfalls.
The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicated that children aged 5 to 17 who were quarantined during the pandemic epidemic gained large amounts of weight. Children between 5 and 11 saw the greatest gains relative to their age. The good news is that the tendency toward weight gain may be reversed by adopting healthy eating habits and getting back to an active lifestyle marked by play and fun.
Results of the Research
Kaiser Permanente’s health records in Southern California were combed through by researchers. Almost two hundred thousand kids aged five to seventeen were analyzed in the data. Dates from March 1, 2019, through January 31, 2021, were considered. Some commonalities existed among the groups.
Almost everyone got fatter after the epidemic than they had been before it, but the youngest children were hit the hardest. There was a 5.07-pound weight gain among children ages 5-11, a 5.09-pound gain among those 12-15, and a 2.3-pound gain among those 16-17. Five pounds is a lot for a youngster between the ages of five and eleven, given their stature.
Since it was an observational study, the researchers didn’t dig into what led to the weight gain. In any case, the data provides a glimpse into the physical effects of being quarantined during the pandemic lockdown.
Does It Matter If I Gain Weight?
The effects of childhood obesity are similar to those of adult obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypertension and excessive cholesterol are risks when a youngster weighs much more than what is considered safe for his or her age. The onset of cardiovascular disease may precede any of these disorders. Breathing and sleeping difficulties, diabetes, low self-esteem, and depression are all possible outcomes. The effects of obesity can extend beyond the physiological and affect the mind and heart as well.
Despite this knowledge, though, never put your child under undue stress regarding their shape and size. Children should not be encouraged to lose weight. There are a number of causes for this, the most prominent of which is the stress that it causes in the child’s developing connection with food and the significant correlation between this stress and the development of yo-yo dieting, disordered eating, and even full-blown eating disorders in the future.
Your child may not benefit from being at what is considered a normal weight. Children, however, develop in their own unique ways and come in a wide range of sizes and shapes.
A youngster that is larger in size requires unconditional love and acceptance. Safeguard their sense of self-worth and confidence the same way you would their weight.
It’s crucial to provide your child with positive, healthy options while also encouraging them to love themselves regardless of their weight. Finding a happy medium is essential.
Preventing Health Problems and Promoting Wellness in Children
Unexpected weight gain is one of the many anomalous side effects that can occur in extreme situations like the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Problems with children’s weight may disappear as they move back to a more typical schedule. However, parents should consult a pediatrician if they observe sudden shifts in their child’s weight or signs of abnormal development.
Children might be encouraged to adopt healthy habits if their parents model those behaviors for them. One thing you can do is give kids more opportunities to go active, as suggested by experts. Replace screen time with games and activities in the great outdoors.
In addition, spice up your healthy snacking. Give them both the foods they like and the ones they prefer to consume. For a tasty variation, serve with a dipping sauce.
Teaching children the value of a healthy lifestyle is something you can do by doing it yourself. When children observe their parents’ behavior and like it, they typically take up the habit themselves. Get the family up and moving, for instance. Go for a stroll around the block, pack up the kids, and head out to the mountains or the bike path.
Your child, and you, too, will develop positive associations between eating and happiness if you actively seek out opportunities for fun and pleasure. This paves the way for children to have a positive perspective on food and their body for the rest of their lives.
The Implications of This Finding For You
Weight growth in children occurs at various points throughout childhood. The results of the study confirm that sudden changes in lifestyle can cause weight gain. Keep in mind, though, that what constitutes an unhealthy weight for one kid can be just right for another.
Ensure your child has access to nutritious and appetizing meals, and push them to find delight in physical activity. You’ll give your kid a head start on a lifetime of good health and self-esteem by modeling those traits yourself.
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