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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Variation of parental feeding practices during the COVID-2019 pandemic: a systematic review

Wen Luo; Qian Cai; You Zhou (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health volume
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is highly contagious and has resulted in a protracted pandemic. Infections caused by new coronavirus strains, primarily Delta and Omicron and currently highly prevalent globally. In response to the epidemic, countries, and cities implemented isolation and quarantine guidance, such as limiting social contact, which have affected the lifestyles and quality of life of the population. Parental feeding behaviors may vary as a result of factors such as prolonged home isolation of parents and children, lack of supplies during isolation, and stress. This study was designed to assess the available evidence and its implications for parental feeding practices in the context of COVID-19. It screened and reviewed research published in five electronic databases between 2020 and 2022, and eight studies met the selection criteria.
Evaluation of the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on BMI in children and adolescents with or without obesity

Albane B. R. Maggio; Claudine Gal-Dudding; Xavier Martin (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: BMC Pediatrics volume

In Switzerland, from March 15th to May 11th 2020, schools and most shops were closed nationwide due to the COVID-19-related lockdown. This cessation of activities may have impacted weight gain in children and adolescents. The aims of our study were to evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on the BMI of children and adolescents in treatment for obesity, and to compare its evolution to that of the previous year at the same time, as well as to that of normal-weight children. This retrospective study gathered demographic and anthropometric data from subjects aged 6–18 years both with normal weight and with obesity, who attended our hospital clinics at four time points: before and after the lockdown period in 2020, and at the same times of the year in 2019. We used paired t-tests to assess weight, BMI and BMI z-score changes, linear and standard multiple regressions, independent Student’s t-tests or Chi-square tests to compare groups, and Pearson correlation coefficient when appropriate.

Assessing and mitigating the impact of shocks on food security and nutrition in the Asia Pacific region: Lessons from the COVID-19 response for informing the Global Food Crisis response
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: August 2022

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, WFP has continually assessed household vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity through monitoring surveys, while simultaneously providing technical assistance and operations support for programmes in response to the pandemic in the Asia Pacific region. Based on these experiences and in cooperation with partners, WFP undertook a series of studies to better understand the realities of the food security and nutrition landscape since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. In addition to WFP’s food security monitoring reports and data made available from WFP’s Fill the Nutrient Gap analyses, this brief utilizes secondary data relevant to the crisis, as well as four documents recently published by WFP and its partners. While the focus of this brief is on the COVID-19 crisis, its lessons can be applied now and into the future. Other types of covariate shocks will create compounding problems for countries.

Children rights to 'Zero hunger' and the execution challenges during the COVID-19 crisis

Nurul Hidayat binti Ab Rahman; Redwan bin Yasin

Published: August 2022   Journal: Hasanuddin Law Review
‘Zero hunger is the world’s pledge under the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, which aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition. Nevertheless, the mission had been seized as the world faced economic turndown due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. The circumstances have brutally affected society’s ideal living standards and raised social problems such as extreme poverty, famishment, malnutrition, and medical conditions, specifically among vulnerable children. The essential purpose of this writing is to elucidate the ‘zero hunger goal as one of the central legal rights and identify challenges in executing it during the COVID-19 crisis. Data were collected through library studies and analyzed critically using the content analysis method.
Comparison of eating disorders symptoms and body image between individual and team sport adolescent athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Morteza Homayounnia Firoozjah; Shahnaz Shahrbanian; Alireza Homayouni (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal of Eating Disorders

COVID-19 has significantly disrupted the routines of school sports for adolescent athletes, which can affect their usual eating behaviors and body image. Specific pressures of individual sports (which tend to emphasize “leanness” as a means to improving performance), versus team sports (which tend to not require “leanness” for an athlete to be competitive), may further increase the risk of disordered eating (DE), eating disorders (ED), and distorted body image. An additional factor to consider is the gender of the athletes, with participation in “lean” sports associated with increased DE and body dissatisfaction for male, but not female, athletes. Participants of the study included 124 Iranian male adolescent athletes residing in Mazandaran province (one of the most affected areas of Iran during COVID-19), who played in 1 of 6 sports (3 individual, 3 team). ED symptoms were assessed by the Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26), and body image was assessed by the Body-Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults (BESAA).

The experiences of new mothers accessing feeding support for infants with down syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic

L. Hielscher; E. Mengoni; A. Ludlow (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: International Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Infants with Down syndrome are more likely to experience feeding problems and mothers are likely to require more feeding support than mothers of typically developing infants. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many feeding support services changed from face-to-face to online, which impacted some maternal feeding experiences negatively, but no studies to date have explored the impact for mothers of infants with Down syndrome. Thematic analysis was conducted on semi-structured interviews from thirteen new mothers of infants (aged 8–17 months) with Down syndrome in the UK. Three superordinate themes were generated: (1) Every baby with Down syndrome has a unique journey, (2) There’s no point asking, they won’t know, (3) Lack of in-person support.
Changes in obesity and BMI among children and adolescents with selected chronic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman; Izzuddin M. Aris; Charles Bailey (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Obesity

The aim of this study was to examine COVID-19 pandemic-related changes in obesity and BMI among patients aged 5 to <20 years with selected chronic conditions. A longitudinal study in 293,341 patients aged 5 to <20 years who were prescribed one of five medication classes (for depression, psychosis, hypertension, diabetes, or epilepsy) and who had BMI measures from January 2019 to March 2021 was conducted. Generalized estimating equations and linear mixed-effects models were used, accounting for within-child repeated measures and stratified by age, race, ethnicity, gender, and class of medication prescribed, to compare obesity and BMI z score during the pandemic (June through December 2020) versus pre-pandemic (June through December 2019).

Addressing child obesity via social networks: experience report of actions of the health lifestyle project at school in the COVID-19 pandemic

Sarah Cavalcante Brandão; Ingra Bezerra de Melo Gonçalves; Ítalo Emanoel de Sousa Chaves (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: International Journal of Health Science

Childhood obesity is a nutritional disorder considered a serious public health problem worldwide because it is responsible for a large part of the emergence of chronic degenerative diseases and, consequently, raises the levels of morbidity and mortality. The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the increase in the rates of this comorbidity, as the established transmission containment measures led to a reduction in physical activity, an increase in screen time and anxiety-related disorders. Thus, the Healthy Lifestyle at School extension project, developed at the Faculty of Medicine of the Federal University of Cariri (UFCA), whose objective is to act in the identification, prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents, recognized the need adapting face-to-face activities to the remote context. An account was created on the social network Instagram in order to alert about the problem and with the objective of reaching the target audience through educational, preventive and control measures against childhood obesity. The study is a qualitative analysis, of the experience report type, based on data obtained between April and September of the year 2020 on the Project’s social media page. It can be seen from this study that the challenge for extension projects to remain as guides for good health practices and remote knowledge production showed satisfactory results with the use of the social network as a tool for health promotion and education.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 43 | Issue: 2 | No. of pages: 4 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, obesity, physical activity, social distance, social media | Countries: Brazil
Physical activity knowledge, attitude, and behaviours among adolescents in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prior to and during COVID-19 restrictions

Naif Almutairi; Sharyn Burns; Linda Portsmouth

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal of Obesity
The prevalence of childhood and adolescent obesity has increased dramatically and poses a major public health threat globally. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the main cause of adolescent obesity is an increase in physical inactivity and unhealthy eating habits due to lifestyle changes. This study reports on factors associated with physical activity (PA) prior to and during the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) among middle school students in Jeddah, KSA.
The frequency of infant-feeding presentations at English emergency departments during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: a nation-wide electronic health records study

Steven Wyatt; Patrick Aldridge; Samantha Ross (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Medical Journeys

This study aims to examine the frequency and distribution of infant feeding-related presentations at emergency departments (EDs) before and during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Attendances at 48 major EDs in England in two 50-week periods before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: period 1, April 2, 2019 to March 10, 2020 and period 2, April 1, 2020 to March 10, 2021.

The associations among psychological distress, stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic, and disinhibited eating of parents of three- to five-year-old children

Noelle K. Herzog; Adelyn Sherrard; Tyler C. Kemmerley (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Eating Behaviors

Individuals' psychological distress is associated with disinhibited eating (external and emotional eating). The aim of the current study was to examine the moderating associations of COVID-19-related stress on parents' psychological distress (anxiety, hostility, depression) and external and emotional eating. One hundred and sixty U.S. parents of three- to five-year-old children (Mage = 34.08, SD = 6.76; 89 females) completed an online survey.

Associations between parenting stress, parent feeding practices, and perceptions of child eating behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic

Lupita Maria González; Amy Lammert; Suzanne Phelan (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Appetite
The aim of this study was to explore associations between parenting stress, feeding practices, and perceptions of children's eating behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents (n = 284) of children ages 4–6 years completed a cross-sectional online survey during the onset of pandemic-related stay-at-home mandates in the U.S. Parents reported current levels of parenting stress, feeding practices, and child eating behaviors. Parents also reported whether parenting stress had increased, stayed the same, or decreased since prior to the onset of pandemic-related stay-at-home mandates.
Effect of COVID-19 lockdown on children's eating behaviours: a longitudinal study

Giuseppina Rosaria Umano; Giulia Rondinelli; Giulio Rivetti (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Children
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on children’s lifestyle and eating behaviour, resulting in an increase of obesity prevalence. The CEBQ (Children’s Eating Behaviour Questionnaire) is a validate questionnaire that investigates children’s eating behaviour. Knowing the psychological consequences of daily routine disruption during lockdown, we evaluated the changes in eating behaviours in a paediatric cohort before and during the lockdown period through the evaluation of the Italian version of the CEBQ. Children attending the pediatric clinic of the University of Campania ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’ were prospectively enrolled.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 9 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: 7 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: behavioural change, child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, obesity, social distance | Countries: Italy
Mealtime regularity Is associated with dietary balance among preschool children in Japan: a study of lifestyle changes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Yuki Tada; Yukari Ueda; Kemal Sasaki (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Nutrients
The novel coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has considerably impacted children’s lives. The aim of this study was to determine whether the pandemic affected mealtime regularity among preschool children and whether maintaining regular mealtimes or changes in mealtime regularity during the pandemic were related to dietary balance, including chronological relationships. This online cross-sectional survey involving individuals registered with a company that provides meals to children aged 2−6 years was conducted in February 2021. Using a 40-point scale, a healthy diet score (HDS) was developed to evaluate children’s dietary balance. The participants were divided into four groups based on their responses, and multiple regression analyses were performed with the HDS as the dependent variable. Maintaining regular mealtimes was associated with practices such as waking and going to bed earlier, less snacking, and eating breakfast every day.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 14 | Issue: 14 | No. of pages: 14 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: behavioural change, child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, preschool children, social distance | Countries: Japan
Trends in physical fitness and nutritional status among school-aged children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic in Shaanxi, China: a cross-sectional study

Zijun Lu; Chuangui Mao; Yuanyuan Tan (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Nutrients
This study aimed to explore the characteristics of trends in physical fitness and nutritional status among school-aged students during the COVID-19 pandemic, which could help to develop targeted guidelines and policies for students (adolescents) to promote health during lockdowns resulting from public health emergencies. The physical fitness and nutritional status were measured from 2019 to 2021; the correlation between years and grade were analyzed.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 14 | Issue: 15 | No. of pages: 11 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, physical activity, social distance | Countries: China
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.