Acceleration in BMI gain following COVID-19 restrictions. A longitudinal study with 7- to 10-year-old primary school children

Pediatric ObesityJarnig G, Jaunig J, Kerbl R, et al. | January 28, 2022

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Researchers herein examined if the ramifications of COVID-19 restrictions link with changes in body mass index (BMI) and the proportion of children with overweight or obesity.

  • In this cohort study, baseline measurements were conducted in September 2019 (prior to COVID-19 restrictions) and follow-up was conducted in June 2020, September 2020, and March 2021 at 12 primary schools in Austria.

  • Analysis indicated a correlation of COVID-19 restrictions with accelerated increases in mean BMI and the proportion of children with overweight or obesity.

  • There was an increase in mean BMIIOTF standard deviation scores (SDS) by 0.24 between September 2019 and March 2021.

  • During this period, an increase occurred in the proportion of children with overweight or obesity from 20.7% to 26.2%, comparable results were observed using national reference values—EQUI BMIAUT.

  • Simultaneously, an increase occurred in the heightAUT SDS by 0.06 with a larger increase in girls vs boys.

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