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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diets, practices, and service in ESA
Published: July 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis are impacting food systems and delivery of health services with likely negative consequences to the nutrition of the most vulnerable women and children worldwide. The Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) nutrition section is undertaking research to understand the impact of the pandemic on the diets of young children, adolescents, and pregnant women and lactating mothers, as well as on infant feeding practices and on nutrition service delivery. The goal of the research is to contribute to a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on diets, services and practices. Ultimately it seeks to propose appropriate response strategies for UNICEF and its counterparts to reduce the impact of COVID-19 and similar disasters on nutritionally vulnerable groups.
School feeding and food and nutrition security in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic in the northern region of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

AUTHOR(S)
Ana Eliza Port Lourenço; Naiara Sperandio; Priscila Vieira Pontes (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Food Ethics
Due to the pandemic and the suspension of in-person school classes, there was an interruption in the meals served to approximately 40 million students who benefited from the Brazilian National School Feeding Program (PNAE). This article describes two case studies, comparing the strategies adopted by two municipalities for maintaining school feeding during the Covid-19 pandemic in the northern region of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and discuss possible impacts of these strategies on food and nutrition security. These municipalities together cover about 81% of the population in the region.
Double burden of malnutrition among women of reproductive age in 55 low- and middle-income countries: progress achieved and opportunities for meeting the global target

AUTHOR(S)
Md. Mehedi Hasan; Saifuddin Ahmed; ● Ricardo J. Soares Magalhaes (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

The aim of this study is to examine trends and projections of underweight (Body Mass Index, BMI < 18.5 kg/m2) and overweight (BMI ≥ 25.0 kg/m2) in women of reproductive age in 55 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It used data from 2,337,855 women aged 15–49 years from nationally representative Demographic and Health Survey conducted between 1990 and 2018. Bayesian linear regression analyses were performed.

Prevalence and changes in food-related hardships by socioeconomic and demographic groups during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK: A longitudinal panel study

AUTHOR(S)
Jonathan Koltaia; Veronica Toffolutti; Martin McKee (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Europe
Food insecurity concerns have featured prominently in the UK response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study assessed changes in the prevalence of food-related hardships in the UK population from April to July 2020. It analysed longitudinal data on food-related hardships for 11,104 respondents from the April-July 2020 waves of the Understanding Society COVID-19 web survey with linked data from the 2017-9 wave of the annual Understanding Society survey. Outcome variables were reports of being hungry but not eating and of being unable to eat healthy and nutritious food in the last week, which were adapted from the Food Insecurity Experience Scale. The study used unadjusted estimates to examine changes in population prevalence and logistic regression to assess the association between employment transitions and both outcomes at the individual level.
Impact of COVID-19 on child malnutrition, obesity in women and household food insecurity in underserved urban settlements in Sri Lanka: a prospective follow up study

AUTHOR(S)
Renuka Jayatissa; Himali P. Herat; Amila G. Perera (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

This study aimed to determine changes and factors associated with child malnutrition, obesity in women and household food insecurity before and after the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the baseline Urban Health and Nutrition Study 2019 (UHNS-2019) was conducted in 603 households, which were selected randomly from 30 clusters to represent underserved urban settlements in Colombo. In the present study, 35 % of households from the UHNS-2019 cohort were randomly selected for repeat interviews, 1 year after the baseline study and 6 months after COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka. Height/length and weight of children and women were re-measured, household food insecurity was reassessed, and associated factors were gathered through interviewer-administered questionnaires. Differences in measurements at baseline and follow-up studies were compared.

Successful delivery of nutrition programs and the sustainable development goals

AUTHOR(S)
Daniel Lopez de Romaña; Alison Greig; Andrew Thompson (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnolog
Malnutrition affects millions of people globally, especially women, children, and other vulnerable populations. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were set in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of everyone by 2030. To achieve the SDG goals effective nutrition interventions and programs need to be efficiently delivered to those most in need. Nutrition directly affects 2 SDGs (2 and 3) and indirectly influences five others. In addition, almost all SDGs influence nutrition and thus attaining the SDG goals is also a pre-requisite to achieving the Global Nutrition targets set in 2012.
GN briefing on COVID-19 and malnutrition
Institution: General Nutrition
Published: March 2021

The increase in malnutrition arising due to the coronavirus pandemic is expected to cause nearly 170,000 additional child deaths in the next two years. Please, read that again, and understand that we are in the middle of a crisis within a crisis. This pandemic has created a fatal cycle: malnourished people are at a higher risk of death or hospitalisation from COVID-19, and the lockdown measures necessary to tackle the virus make it more difficult for people to access healthcare facilities and proper food, thus pushing them closer to malnutrition. Since nutrition underpins all of human flourishing, people in these regions are also under great economic, social, environmental and health strains, and may sink deeper into poverty as a result . Both COVID-19 and malnutrition have intense, long-term impacts, and challenge our ability to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are emergencies in the short and long term. To avoid this food crisis spiralling out of control, actions to prevent malnutrition must be adopted as an essential part of any COVID-19 response.

Covid-19 confinement and changes of adolescent’s dietary trends in Italy, Spain, Chile, Colombia and Brazil

AUTHOR(S)
María Belén Ruiz-Roso; Patricia de Carvalho Padilha Carvalho Padilha; Diana C. Mantilla-Escalante (et al.)

Published: June 2020   Journal: Nutrients
Confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic can influence dietary profiles, especially those of adolescents, who are highly susceptible to acquiring bad eating habits. Adolescents’ poor dietary habits increase their subsequent risk of degenerative diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular pathologies, etc. This paper aims to study nutritional modifications during COVID-19 confinement in adolescents aged 10 to 19 years, compare them with their usual diet and dietary guidelines, and identify variables that may have influenced changes.
Food system policy priorities and programmatic actions for healthy diets in the context of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has created supply and demand shocks in the food systems, disproportionately affecting the poor and nutritionally vulnerable groups. A possible economic slowdown further compounds challenges faced by governments in tackling malnutrition in all its forms.This brief presents policy and programmatic actions adopted by countries and development partners to ensure that food and agriculture responses promote healthy diets and improve nutrition. Furthermore, this brief explains supply and demand measures, taken from recent worldwide good practices.

Food systems and COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean
The COVID-19 pandemic points out some changes in the consumption patterns of the population. It appears that consumers have tended to prefer less nutritious, less fresh and more economical diets. Such a decision could be explained by a significant decrease in household income and the mobility restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Healthy eating minimises the risk of disease. That hasn't changed during the pandemic. Governments' initiatives must, therefore, aim at a healthier diet, ensuring access to fresh and nutritious products for people, promoting communication campaigns that value healthy eating and, finally, facilitating the marketing of fresh and quality products produced locally by small and medium producers
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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.