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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 183
A generational catastrophe: COVID-19 and children’s access to education and food in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Debra Shepherd; Nompumelelo Mohohlwane

Published: December 2021   Journal: Development Southern Africa
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, children have been put at greater risk of school drop-out, as well as food insecurity and emotional health deterioration. This paper considers these issues as they have occurred in South Africa. It uses all waves of the National Income Dynamics Study–Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey to estimate non-return to school, access to school meals, and household well-being. The number of learners not attending school in 2021 is estimated to be close to quadruple pre-pandemic levels. Combined with estimates of learning lost, we can conclude that the pandemic has worn away at two decades of progress made in basic education. Evidence also indicates that school feeding has been slow to recover to pre-pandemic levels. Deepened levels of household hunger combined with a lack of access to free school meals is indicated to contribute to significantly greater levels of caregiver anxiety and psychological distress.
Changes in obesity and lifestyle behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic in Chinese adolescents: a longitudinal analysis from 2019 to 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Dongling Yang; Chunyan Luo; Xiaogang Feng (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Pediatric Obesity

Since December 2019, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global pandemic. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing. What changes have taken place in the obesity and obesity-related lifestyle behaviours of adolescents during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic? This study aims at analysing the changes in obesity and lifestyle behaviours of Chinese adolescents before and 1 year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing evidence for the global strategies to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent obesity.

Changes in physical fitness, dietary habits and family habits for Spanish children during SARS-CoV-2 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Oliver Ramos Álvarez; Víctor Arufe Giráldez; David Cantarero Prieto (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Jourmal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Background: habits related to diet and physical activity in children were modified due to the lockdown that Spain had between March and June 2019 because of the health crisis caused by the appearance of SARS-CoV-2. The aim of the study was to know the impact that the lockdown had on physical fitness values in children aged 11–12. The study consisted of 50 Spanish children aged 11–12 (M = 11.40; SD = 0.50), 33 (66%) boys and 17 (34%) girls. Data collection was performed using the Alpha-Fitness Battery, a validated instrument to assess dietary intake, habits and practices, and an ad hoc survey to collect sociodemographic data and other information relevant to the study.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 18 | Issue: 24 | No. of pages: 17 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: behavioural change, child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, physical activity, social distance | Countries: Spain
Experiences of increased food insecurity, economic, and psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic among SNAP-enrolled food pantry clients

AUTHOR(S)
Robin T. Higashi; Anubha Sood; Ana Belen Conrado (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

The COVID-19 pandemic initially doubled the rates of food insecurity across the USA and tripled rates among households with children. Despite the association among food insecurity, chronic disease and psychological distress, narratives depicting the experiences of already food insecure populations are notably underrepresented in the literature. The current study assessed the impact of COVID-19 on clients of a food pantry who were also enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is a qualitative study probing the effects of the pandemic on daily living, food needs, food buying and food insecurity. Interview transcripts were analysed using a combined deductive and inductive approach. Interviews were conducted via telephone between May and June of 2020 among equal numbers of English- and Spanish-speaking clients (n 40 total).

Pre-pandemic to early-pandemic changes in risk of household food insecurity among Maryland families with children

AUTHOR(S)
Alysse J. Kowalski; Ann Pulling Kuhn; Hannah G. Lane (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

The objective of this study was to examine risk and protective factors associated with pre- to early-pandemic changes in risk of household food insecurity (FI). Families from two statewide studies (2017-2020) in an observational cohort (May-August 2020) were re-enrolled. Caregivers reported on risk of household FI, demographics, pandemic-related hardships, and participation in safety net programs (e.g. CARES stimulus payment, school meals).

Lessons learned for emergency feeding during modifications to 11 school feeding programs in Latin America and the Caribbean during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Uriyoán Colón-Ramos; Rafael Monge-Rojas; Jael Goldsmith Weil (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Food and Nutrition Bulletin

School feeding programs (SFPs) can play a crucial role in the emergency food and nutrition response, but there is a dearth of information on how SFPs operate during emergencies. A rapid comparative assessment of 11 SFPs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from (1) systematic document search and (2) surveys with key informants (n = 23) about barriers/facilitators to modifications were systematically analyzed using a multiple case study approach.

The other pandemic: a conceptual framework and future research directions of junk food marketing to children and childhood obesity

AUTHOR(S)
Myriam Ertz; Guillaume Le Bouhart

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Macromarketing
During the last two decades, childhood obesity has become a global pandemic, creating harmful impacts on children, tutors, and society. If the obesity/overweight trend continues upwards, especially in developing countries, it may significantly alter millions of children's professional, social, and psychological well-being. Furthermore, it is conceivable that when obesity/overweight issues appear at a young age, they may persist during adulthood and disrupt individual development and community well-being. By targeting children at a very young age and with a broad array of strategies, junk food marketers have often been accused of inducing children to (over)consume junk food from an early age and throughout adolescence until adulthood. This paper reviews the literature about childhood obesity/overweight and junk food marketing strategies to develop a conceptual framework delineating the forces and counter-forces to the childhood obesity phenomenon and identify avenues for future research and managers.
The impact of COVID-19 on the dietary diversity of children and adolescents: evidence from a rural/urban panel study

AUTHOR(S)
Yi Cui; Wei Si; Qiran Zhao (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: China & World Economy
This paper offers the first empirical evidence of the impact of COVID-19 on dietary diversity among children and adolescents in urban and rural families by using panel data collected in 2019 (before COVID-19) and 2020 (during COVID-19) in northern China. This study uses panel data from 2,201 primary school students and 1,341 junior high-school students to apply the difference in differences (DID) method to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on dietary diversity among students in urban and rural families.
Changes to the home food environment and parent feeding practices during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative exploration

AUTHOR(S)
Amanda Trofholz; Derek Hersch; Kristin Norderud (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Appetite
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about many changes that potentially altered the home food environment, which has been associated with child eating patterns and dietary intake. There is also some evidence that changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic are associated with health behaviors in children, such as an increased intake of high-calorie snack food. The current study aimed to more deeply understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the home food environment of meal and snack time routines and parent feeding practices within families of young children. Data for this study are taken from the Kids EAT! Study, a racially/ethnically diverse cohort of families with 2–5 year old children. Qualitative interviews were conducted by phone and video conference with mothers (n = 25) during August/September 2020 and were coded using a hybrid deductive/inductive analysis approach.
Feeding behaviour and lifestyle of children and adolescents one year after lockdown by the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile

AUTHOR(S)
Edson Bustos-Arriagada; Sergio Fuentealba-Urra; Karina Etchegaray-Armijo (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Nutrients
Lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may have influenced feeding behaviour and lifestyle in children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to analyse feeding behaviour and lifestyle in children and adolescents one year after lockdown by the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile. In this cross-sectional study an online survey was implemented in 1083 parents and caregivers regarding their children’s feeding behaviour and lifestyle and sociodemographic background. The results showed that “eat breakfast daily” (89.2%), “not overnight food intake” (69.9%) and “not fast-food intake” (66.0%) were the most frequent reported feeding behaviours, particularly in pre-school children. Respondents declaring healthy feeding behaviours and lifestyle were 23.4 and 23.7%, respectively, with no significant differences by sex. In pre-school children, families with three or fewer members and parents or caregivers with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree reported a significantly better feeding behaviour and lifestyle compared to families with more than three members and parents or caregivers without an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. In conclusion, the pandemic lockdown had a negative impact in lifestyle in children and particularly in adolescents. Healthier feeding behaviour was associated with fewer family members and parents or caregivers with at least an undergraduate degree.
Concerns of parents about children's overweight and obesity during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study

AUTHOR(S)
Mahdiye Razi; Ahmad Nasiri

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Nursing

Since the end of 2019, the world has been dealing with a new crisis caused by the widespread and global outbreak of the coronavirus that has affected various aspects of life. The stay-at-home orders issued to prevent the virus from spreading have caused many problems for families, such as obesity and overweight, particularly among children. As parents play a key role in the prevention of childhood obesity, the present qualitative study aimed to examine the experiences of parents regarding the obesity or overweight of their children during the outbreak of coronavirus. This study was performed using a qualitative descriptive approach. The sampling method was purposeful, and the required data were collected through in-depth, unstructured, and face-to-face interviews with 16 parents of children with obesity or overweight. The interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using Graneheim and Lundman conventional content analysis approach.

“Consult us on what concerns us”: children’s recommendations for the hunger response in South Sudan

AUTHOR(S)
Ronald Apunyo; Nasir Khan Yousafzai

Published: November 2021
Save the Children’s South Sudan country office held consultations with children to explore the impact of hunger, flooding, and the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives. Throughout 2020 and 2021, Save the Children has been providing humanitarian assistance to children and communities affected by these disasters, striving to support them through extremely challenging times. Our children’s consultations were aimed at exploring children’s views of Save the Children’s response so far, and the wider humanitarian response in the region. Their answers, detailing how they deal with hunger and its effects on them, their families, and communities, will help us to understand and document how children’s voices, needs, priorities, and recommendations should be included in the local humanitarian response. This assessment also gives us an overview of how children are involved in decision-making processes, and to what extent we are addressing their needs.
Unmaskimg II: childhood lost
Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2021

To better understand the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the lives of vulnerable children in Asia and to make evidence-based policy and programming decisions, World Vision conducted a Rapid Assessment in May 2020. The assessment found that COVID-19 had grossly heightened the vulnerabilities of children in Asia. Families had been experiencing devastating loss of livelihood which led to limited access to food, essential medicines, and basic healthcare. The resulting strain on families increased incidences of physical abuse, early marriage, and the entry of children into exploitative work. The assessment recommended, for the next immediate period, that Asian governments scale-up social protection interventions, increase investment in public works programmes,  target the most vulnerable through government social assistance schemes, provide support to micro, small and medium enterprises, and scale up and provide skill-building for community health workers.

Acute care visits for eating disorders among children and adolescents after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Alène Toulany; Paul Kurdy; Astrid Guttmann (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health

Anecdotal reports suggest a significant increase in acute presentations of eating disorders among children and adolescents. This study aimed to compare the rates of emergency department visits and hospitalizations for pediatric eating disorders before and during the first 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using linked health administrative databases, it conducted a population-based repeated cross-sectional study of emergency department visits and hospitalizations for eating disorders among all children and adolescents aged 3–17 years, residing in Ontario, Canada.

Tracking the situation of children: a summary of UNICEF’s COVID-19 socio-economic impact surveys
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting the provision of vital health, nutrition, education, child protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to women and children. UNICEF is conducting quarterly surveys to better understand the level of disruption to essential services for women and children, the reasons for these disruptions, and government response measures. This brochure provides an overview of the findings from the past three survey rounds and reveals that all countries – not only those with ongoing humanitarian response – continue to face some severe service disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response.

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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.