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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 49
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on elementary schoolers' physical activity, sleep, screen time and diet: A quasi-experimental interrupted time series study

Sarah Burkart; Hannah Parker; R. Glenn Weaver (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Pediatric Obesity

COVID-19 school closures pose a threat to children's wellbeing, but no COVID-19-related studies have assessed children's behaviours over multiple years . This study aims to examine children's obesogenic behaviours during spring and summer of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to previous data collected from the same children during the same calendar period in the 2 years prior. Physical activity and sleep data were collected via Fitbit Charge-2 in 231 children (7–12 years) over 6 weeks during spring and summer over 3 years. Parents reported their child's screen time and dietary intake via a survey on 2–3 random days/week.

Association of COVID-19 mitigation measures with changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and body mass index among children aged 7 to 10 years in Austria

Gerald Jarnig; Johannes Jaunig; Mireille N. M. van Poppel (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: JAMA Network Open

Were COVID-19 mitigation measures associated with changes in cardiorespiratory fitness measures and body mass index among primary schoolchildren in Austria? In this cohort study of 764 primary schoolchildren aged 7 to 10 years, COVID-19 mitigation measures were associated with substantial reductions in cardiorespiratory fitness measures and increases in body mass index SD scores and the proportion of children with overweight or obesity. The findings suggest that collaborative efforts are needed to improve children’s health and fitness to prevent long-term negative health outcomes.

Junk food-induced obesity- a growing threat to youngsters during the pandemic

Ankul Singh S.; Dhivya Dhanasekaran; Nila Ganamurali (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Obesity Medicine

Obesity has been declared an epidemic that does not discriminate based on age, gender, or ethnicity and thus needs urgent containment and management. Since the third wave of COVID-19 is expected to affect children the most, these children and adolescents should eat Junk foods to be more cautious during Covid situations due to the compromise of Immunity in the individuals and further exacerbating the organ damage. A pan India survey organized by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) among 13,274 children between the ages 9–14 years reported that 93% of the children ate packed food and 68% consumed packaged sweetened beverages more than once a week, and 53% ate these products at least once in a day. Almost 25% of the School going children take ultra-processed food with high levels of sugar, salt, fat, such as pizza and burgers, from fast food outlets more than once a week. Children and adolescents who consume more junk food or are addicted to such consumption might be even more vulnerable during the third wave, which will significantly affect the younger category.

Physical activity participation and barriers for children and adolescents with disabilities

Sarah MacEachern; Nils Daniel Forkert; Jean-Francois Lemay

Published: July 2021   Journal: International Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Children and adolescents with disabilities benefit from physical activity. However, this population has lower fitness levels and higher rates of obesity than their peers, suggesting that they are not meeting physical activity guidelines and are experiencing barriers to participation. The purpose of this study was to quantify physical activity participation and barriers experienced by children and adolescents with disabilities in our area. Forty-five parents or caregivers of children aged 2‒18 with physical and/or intellectual disabilities completed a questionnaire regarding physical activity participation in an average week and barriers to participation, prior to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Data were analysed using quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
Evaluation of predictors of severe-moderate COVID-19 infections at children: a review of 292 children

Aybüke A. Kara; Elif Böncüoğlu; Elif Kıymet

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Medical Virology
Although the underlying disease is associated with a severe course in adults and laboratory abnormalities have been widely reported, there are not sufficient data on the clinical course of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children with pre-existing comorbid conditions and on laboratory findings. This study aimed to describe the independent risk factors for estimating the severity of the COVID-19 in children. All children between 1 month and 18 years old who were hospitalized during the period of March 11–December 31, 2020, resulting from COVID-19 were included in the study. Patients were categorized into mild (group 1) and moderate + severe/critically (group 2) severity based on the criteria. Demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and laboratory variables between the two groups were compared. A total of 292 children confirmed to have COVID-19 infection were included in the study.
Adolescents’ exposure to and experiences of weight stigma during the COVID-19 pandemic

Leah M. Lessard; Rebecca M. Puhl

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Psychology
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased attention to the proliferation of pediatric obesity amidst significant changes in weight-related health functioning (e.g., compromised physical activity, limited food access, increased stress). The present cross-sectional study investigated adolescents’ feelings about their bodies and perceived changes in weight stigma from peers, parents, and social media during the pandemic.
The effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on adolescents with an eating disorder and identifying factors predicting disordered eating behaviour

Sinem Akgül; Devrim Akdemir; Kevser Nalbant (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Early Intervention in Psychiatry

This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on adolescents with eating disorders (ED) and identify factors predicting ED behaviour.This study took place during an age-stratified lockdown for those under 20 years in Turkey. Participants completed a survey developed to evaluate the effects of the lockdown on ED behaviour, well-being and quality of life (QoL) and additionally the eating disorder examination questionnaire (EDE-Q), and scales for depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behaviour. The relationship between the EDE-Q-global score and other variables related to ED was examined. Linear regression analysis was performed to examine the predictive power of these variables on ED behaviour.

Changes in weight and height among Chinese preschool children during COVID-19 school closures

Juan Wen; Lijun Zhu; Chenbo Ji

Published: July 2021   Journal: International Journal of Obesity

COVID-19-related school closures may increase the prevalence of childhood obesity, which has aroused public concerns. This study aimed to analyze the weight and height changes in Chinese preschool children during the COVID-19-related school closures period. A total of 124,603 children from multi-city kindergartens in China were included in this study. It evaluated the prevalence of overweight and obese in preschool children experienced school closures, and compared the changes in BMI, weight, and height of preschool children among COVID-19 school closures period, the same period last year and the same period the year before last.

E-Learning during COVID-19 pandemic: a surge in childhood obesity

B. C. Surekha; Kiranmayi Karanati; Kishore Venkatesan (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery
The coronavirus pandemic protracted disruption of in-person schooling, sports and other activities leading to obesity that could have long-lasting impact on children’s health. As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of E-learning. Children are snacking more, exercising less. Their increased screen time, sedentary life style and inadequate sleep anticipated weight gain during Lockdown that could lead to complications. To study the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on increased weight gain in children. A cross-sectional study was conducted from March to May 2021 at tertiary care hospital, Thandalam among 2000 children between the age of 3–15 years on weight gain during COVID-19 Lockdown. A questionnaire requesting demographic and Anthropometric details was circulated. BMI percentiles were calculated, totalled and compared between pre-school closing and school closing period.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the number of adolescents/young adults seeking eating disorder-related care

Jessica A. Lin; Sydney M. Hartman-Munick; Meredith R. Kells (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the development and worsening of eating disorder (ED) symptoms in adolescents and young adults. In order to examine COVID-19-related trends in ED care-seeking at our institution. This study used interrupted time series regression to examine pre- and postpandemic monthly summary data of the following: ED-related inpatient admissions for medical stabilization; ED-related hospital bed-days; completed outpatient ED assessments; and ED outpatient care-related inquiries at a children’s hospital in Boston, MA.

Pediatric BMI changes during COVID-19 pandemic: an electronic health record-based retrospective cohort study

Corinne G. Brooks; Jessica R. Spencer; J. Michael Sprafka (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: EClinicalMedicine
Beginning March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted different aspects of life. The impact on children's rate of weight gain has not been analysed. This retrospective cohort study used United States (US) Electronic Health Record (EHR) data from Optum® to calculate the age- and sex- adjusted change in BMI (∆BMIadj) in individual 6-to-17-year-old children between two well child checks (WCCs). The mean of individual ∆BMIadj during 2017–2020 was calculated by month. For September-December WCCs, the mean of individual ∆BMIadj (overall and by subgroup) was reported for 2020 and 2017–2019, and the impact of 2020 vs 2017–2019 was tested by multivariable linear regression.
Effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and the policy response on childhood obesity risk factors: gender and sex differences and recommendations for research

Veronika Knebusch; Julianne Williams; Isabel Yordi Aguirre (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Obesity Reviews
Childhood obesity is a public health concern globally, with generally higher prevalence rates in boys compared to girls. Although biological sex is an important determinant, gender roles and norms influence the exposure and vulnerability to risk factors for noncommunicable diseases. Norms and roles might be reinforced or change due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) related measures as well as the exposure to risk factors for childhood obesity. COVID-19 related changes, such as home confinement, influence a child's risk of obesity. Using Dahlgren and Whitehead's model of the main determinants of health, this paper aims to provide a roadmap for future research on sex, gender, and childhood obesity during the time of COVID-19. It examines how COVID-19 has led to important changes in children's general socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental conditions, social and community networks, and individual lifestyle factors and how these may affect a child's risk for obesity. It focuses on the influence of gender and sex and outlines key considerations and indicators to examine in future studies concerned with promoting health and gender equity and equality.
Vaccination against COVID-19 infection: the need of evidence for diabetic and obese pregnant women

A. Lapolla; M. G. Dalfrà; S. Burlina

Published: June 2021   Journal: Acta Diabetologica

The recent availability of vaccines against COVID-19 has sparked national and international debate on the feasibility of administering them to pregnant and lactating women, given that these vaccines have not been tested to assess their safety and efficacy in such women. As concerns the risks of COVID-induced disease, published data show that pregnant women who develop COVID-19 have fewer symptoms than patients who are not pregnant, but they are more likely to need hospitalization in intensive care, and neonatal morbidity. Aim of the present perspective paper is to analyze the current literature regarding the use of the vaccine against COVID-19 infection, in terms of safety and protection, in high risk pregnant women as those affected by diabetes and obesity. Analysis of literature about vaccination against COVID-19 infection in pregnancy.

Is this the ‘new normal’? A mixed method investigation of young person, parent and clinician experience of online eating disorder treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Catherine Stewart; Anna Konstantellou; Fatema Kassamali (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Journal of Eating Disorders

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, research in virtual care for young people with eating disorders was preliminary and implementation rare. This study explored the experience of young people, parents and clinicians when therapy was transitioned to virtual provision as a result of the UK lockdown in March 2020. A mixed-method approach was used in this study. Online questionnaires that included a mixture of rating (Likert scale) and free-text response questions were completed by 53 young people with any eating disorder, 75 parents and 23 clinicians. Questions focused on the experience of online treatment as well as the impact on engagement, perceived treatment efficacy and preferences around treatment mode in the future. Likert scale questions were analysed using a summary approach. Free-text responses were analysed qualitatively using reflexive thematic analysis.

The impact of COVID-19 on adolescents with eating disorders: a cohort study

Wendy Spettigue; Nicole Obeid; Madison Erbach (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Journal of Eating Disorders
There is a noticeable lack of evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 and the associated lockdown on young people with eating disorders. The goals of this study were 1) to examine characteristics of adolescents presenting for eating disorder (ED) assessment since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; 2) to compare adolescents presenting for ED assessment since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to those that presented for assessment 1 year previously; 3) to examine implications of the pandemic on the system of care.
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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.