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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The effects of financial stress and household socio-economic deprivation on the malnutrition statuses of children under five during the COVID-19 lockdown in a marginalized region of South Punjab, Pakistan

AUTHOR(S)
Muhammad Babar Alam; Muhammad Shahid; Bashar Isam Alzghoul (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Children
The lockdown after the COVID-19 pandemic not only caused public health crises and income stress but also put millions at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition across the globe, especially in low and middle-income countries [LMICs]. This study evaluated the effects of financial stress and household socio-economic deprivation on the nutritional status of 1551 children under the age of five during COVID-19 in Pakistan. A self-administered questionnaire was used between November 2020 and April 2021 to collect information on age, height, children’s weight, and socio-economic status from 1152 rural households from underdeveloped regions in Punjab, Pakistan. With the help of the proportionate simple random sampling method, this study employed a model (binary logistic regression) to calculate the likelihood of malnourishment.
Proximity matrix indicates heterogeneity in the ability to face child malnutrition and pandemics in Brazil: an ecological study

AUTHOR(S)
Camila Botelho Miguel; Arianny Lima da Silva; Carlos Antônio Trindade-da-Silva (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health

Among the social inequalities that continue to still surpasses the basic rights of several citizens, political and environmental organizations decisively “drag” the “ghost” of hunger between different countries of the world, including Brazil. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the difficulties encountered in fighting poverty, which has led Brazil to a worrying situation regarding its fragility in the fight against new pandemics. The present study aims to estimate, compare, and report the prevalence of mortality due to child malnutrition among the macro-regions of Brazil and verify possible associations with the outcome of death by COVID-19. This would identify the most fragile macro-regions in the country with the greatest need for care and investments.

Patterns of adolescent eating behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Ludmila Zhuravleva; Elena Zarubina; Aleksey Ruchkin (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: BIO Web of Conferences
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated problems of ensuring food security for all strata of the population of many countries of the world, including Russia. For scientific research of these problems, development and implementation of effective practical recommendations in the international scientific community has developed an interdisciplinary the concept of “food security”. Food security is a stable condition processes, mechanisms, infrastructures, relationships and influences related to food production, storage, transportation, supply, consumption and disposal food waste. The concept of food security it is the key to studying the problems of providing for the population food economists, lawyers, specialists management and logistics, marketers, social psychologists, nutritionists, as well as specialists in the field of other sciences. Its place in comprehensive security research food security is also found by the sociology of nutrition, which studies food systems, first of all, in its links such as the consumption of food by various social groups and food waste management. During the third stage of the sociological research, the topic which was the change in the eating behavior of various socio-demographic groups of Russian society in the conditions of ongoing pandemics, the author’s team conducted an analysis of food practices children and adolescents in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods of conducting smart survey and in-depth interviews were selected for the research.
Children's centres, families and food insecurity in times of crisis

AUTHOR(S)
William Baker; Ioanna Bakopoulou

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Poverty and Social Justice
This study examines how children’s centres in a major city in England responded to food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic by helping to run ‘FOOD Clubs’ to support families. Drawing on data from semi-structured interviews with children’s centre staff, it analyses how clubs were organised, why people joined them, and the range of benefits parents derived from them. It extends the literature on food insecurity which focuses heavily on the rise of foodbanks. These data also informs broader policy debates around supporting parents in poverty, effective early years provision and the challenges facing families experiencing food insecurity.
Drivers of socioeconomic inequalities of child hunger during COVID-19 in South Africa: evidence from NIDS-CRAM Waves 1-5

AUTHOR(S)
Olufunke A. Alaba; Charles Hongoro; Aquina Thulare (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health volume

Child hunger has long-term and short-term consequences, as starving children are at risk of many forms of malnutrition, including wasting, stunting, obesity and micronutrient deficiencies. The purpose of this paper is to show that the child hunger and socio-economic inequality in South Africa increased during her COVID-19 pandemic due to various lockdown regulations that have affected the economic status of the population. This paper uses the National Income Dynamics Study-Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM WAVES 1–5) collected in South Africa during the intense COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 to assess the socioeconomic impacts of child hunger rated inequalities. First, child hunger was determined by a composite index calculated by the authors. Descriptive statistics were then shown for the investigated variables in a multiple logistic regression model to identify significant risk factors of child hunger. Additionally, the decomposable Erreygers' concentration index was used to measure socioeconomic inequalities on child hunger in South Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Food insecurity, federal nutrition support, and parent feeding practices during COVID-19: a 1-year follow-up study

AUTHOR(S)
Elizabeth L. Adams; Laura J. Caccavale; Melanie K. Bean (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Public Health Reports
COVID-19 caused stark increases in food insecurity. To maintain food provision, policy changes to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) were instated. This longitudinal study examined (1) food security patterns across the timeline of COVID-19; (2) the relationship among food security patterns, NSLP/SNAP use, and parent feeding practices; and (3) parent perceptions of NSLP/SNAP policy changes. A total of 333 US parents completed online surveys during the COVID-19 pandemic: May 2020 (T1), September 2020 (T2), and May 2021 (T3). Food security and parent feeding practices were reported at each time point; pre–COVID-19 behaviors were retrospectively reported at T1. Use and perceptions of NSLP/SNAP policy changes were reported at T3. Associations between food security and parent feeding practices were examined using repeated-measures mixed models.
Information system records of nutritional status of stunted children aged under five: a literature review of stunting management in pandemic era

AUTHOR(S)
Nopi Nur Khasanah; Yeni Rustina; Dyah Wiji Puspita Sar (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Amerta Nutrition

Policies and regulations related to stunting reduction in Indonesia are manifested in both specific and sensitive interventions. Throughout the process, these intervention efforts require cross-sector cooperation while noting that stunting is caused by multi-dimensional factors. Unfortunately, the current Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the target achievement of stunting reduction due to limited human resources at the primary service level and various Covid-19 prevention protocols that must be adhered to; both are considered as factors leading to the declining of services at the community level.   This research was conducted to analyze the implementation of stunting prevention policy by reviewing the literature that doing a research to prevent stunting in pandemic era.

Food insecurity and eating habits of Lebanese children aged 5-11 years during the COVID-19 pandemic and the socioeconomic crisis: a national study

AUTHOR(S)
Reine Gedeon; Souheil Hallit; Lara Hanna Wakim

Published: October 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

Food insecurity is the lack of access to nutritious healthy food due to economic and financial insufficiencies. Food insecurity is expected to be higher during these difficult times in Lebanon, which is facing many financial, political, economic and health debates. The present study aims to find the prevalence of food insecurity among Lebanese children during the COVID-19 pandemic and its correlates. This cross-sectional study enrolled 4001 participants from all Lebanese governorates (March–April 2022). The Ministry of Education and Higher Education randomly disseminated the link to parents of children aged between 5 and 11 years from public and private schools.

Price shocks: rising food prices threaten the lives of thousands of children
Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2022

Conflict, climate change, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and fallout from the Ukraine crisis are interacting to create new and worsen existing hunger hotspots around the world. These overlapping crises are reversing the gains many families have made to escape poverty. While global food prices are now stabilising after reaching record highs, in many countries around the world, they continue to climb. High food prices are exacerbating existing humanitarian crises and putting the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable children at risk as policymakers are slow to take necessary large-scale action.

COVID-19 pandemic impacts on Asia and the Pacific

AUTHOR(S)
A. Elbehri; T. Temel; F. Burcu Ceylan (et al.)

The COVID-19 health crisis has turned into a global economic crisis, putting at risk the health, jobs and incomes of millions of people across the world. The pandemic is becoming persistent and seemingly slow to eradicate, with medium and long-term consequences affecting the trajectories of the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) targets across the countries. Better understanding of the implications of COVID-19 containment these measures for food systems, food insecurity and malnutrition is vital to prevent this global health crisis from becoming a food crisis and to rebuilt resilient food systems. The regional review presented in this report is broad-based but provisional since we are still dealing with an active pandemic having just moved past the fourth wave (dominated by Delta variant) and now facing a new variant, Omicron (whose real impact is still under review). As we approach 2022, the world is learning to live with COVID-19 and its variants for longer than initially believed. So the numbers related to COVID-19 infections and vaccination rates are only provisional and reflect the situation as of the time of writing.
Changes in dietary practices of mother and child during the COVID-19 lockdown: results from a household survey in Bihar, India

AUTHOR(S)
Zakir Husain; Saswata Ghosh; Mousumi Dutta

Published: October 2022   Journal: Food Policy
The outbreak of COVID-19, and the national-level lockdown to contain it, were expected to disrupt supply chains, lead to livelihood loss, and reduce household income. Studies anticipated a decline in food security in India, leading to a near famine-like situation. This study examines the change in Dietary Score (number of food groups consumed out of a possible eight) and proportion of respondents complying with Minimum Dietary Diversity norms (consuming at least four food groups) among women aged 15–49 years and their youngest child (aged between 7 and 36 months) during the lockdown. The present study also analyses whether ownership of ration cards and contacts with the party in power locally helped the household to tide over the crisis. The data was collected through a two-phase primary survey undertaken in January-March 2020 (pre-lockdown period) and October-November 2020 (post-lockdown period). It was undertaken in six districts of Bihar, a state with a history of poor maternal and child health outcomes and dysfunctional delivery of health services.
Eating disorders: the role of the family in development and maintenance of children's problems in the pandemic period

AUTHOR(S)
Maria Rosaria Juli; Rebecca Juli; Giada Juli (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Psychiatria Danubina

According to data released by the Ministry of Health in 2021 in Italy about three million young people suffer from eating disorders with onset before the age of 13 and the number tends to be increasing. This work aims to understand if and to what extent the areas of family functioning are related to the way of eating of adolescents in the period of restriction due to COVID-19. In particular, which dimensions of family functioning can be correlated with dysfunctional eating habits. The group that took part in the study was composed of 154 non clinical subjects, of which 124 females, 27 males and 3 non-binary gender subjects. The tests used were the McMaster Family Assessment Device and the Binge Eating Scale, in addition a personal data sheet was used containing the details of the subjects who participated anonymously, recruited at the university of Italy. The data have some limitations, first of all the low number of the sample and the online modality in compiling the tests.

A longitudinal study on changes in food parenting practices during COVID-19 and the role of parental well-being

AUTHOR(S)
Junilla K. Larsen; Nina van den Broek; Maaike Verhagen (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Appetite
The COVID-19 pandemic may negatively influence food parenting practices, also among parents of adolescents. Parental well-being (stress and depressive symptoms) may explain these COVID-19 related changes in food parenting practices (snack structure, healthy structure, modeling, autonomy support, and coercive control). However, most previous studies performed before or during the COVID-19 pandemic have been limited by cross-sectional designs. The aim of the current study among parents of adolescent children was twofold. First, it aimed to examine prospective differences in food parenting practices comparing the situation before and during COVID-19. Second, it aimed to examine both cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between parental well-being and the dimensions of food parenting, while additionally examining whether these prospective associations were more pronounced in parents who had experienced more COVID-19 stressful life events.
Contributions of work-to-family enrichment to parental food monitoring and satisfaction with food-related life during the COVID-19 pandemic in dual-earner parents and their adolescent children

AUTHOR(S)
Berta Schnettler; Ligia Orellana; Edgardo Miranda-Zapata (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Nutrients
Evidence shows that numerous family-related variables influence parents’ use of different food parenting practices (FPP), but less is known about the influence of parents’ work-related variables on their use of FPP, and their own and their children’s outcomes in the food domain. To fill this gap, the present study explored intra-individual and inter-individual effects between work-to-family enrichment (WtoFE), parents’ monitoring practices, the adolescent’s perception of their parents’ monitoring practices, and the three family members’ satisfaction with food-related life (SWFoL), in different-sex dual-earner parents with adolescent children. The mediating role of monitoring between WtoFE and SWFoL was also tested. A sample of 430 different-sex dual-earner parents and one of their adolescent children (average age 13.0 years, 53.7% female) were recruited in Rancagua, Chile, during March and June 2020.
Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on nutritional status, feeding practices, and access to food among infants and children in lower and middle-income countries: a narrative review

AUTHOR(S)
Paola Hong Zhu; Susan Nita Mhango; Anirudh Vinnakota (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected children across the planet and the consequences on their health, nutritional status, and social structure have been more pronounced in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This review will focus on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on infant growth and feeding practices and access to food and obesity prevalence among children in LMICs. An electronic search was performed on MEDLINE and Embase to identify relevant articles in the English language.
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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.