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

By Jarnig G, Jaunig J, Kerbl R, Strenger V, Haeusler G, Van Poppel MNM
Published January 27, 2022

Key Takeaways

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.

Read the full article on Pediatric Obesity.

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