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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Prevalence and severity of food insecurity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic among adults and youth in Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States

Alexandra Pepetone; Edward A. Frongillo; Kevin W. Dodd (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: The Journal of Nutrition

Disruptions from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic potentially exacerbated food insecurity among adults and youth. The objective was to examine changes in the prevalence and severity of food insecurity among adults and youth from before (2019) to during (2020) the pandemic in multiple countries. Repeated cross-sectional data were collected among adults aged 18–100 y (n = 63,278) in 5 countries in November to December in 2018–2020 and among youth aged 10–17 y (n = 23,107) in 6 countries in November to December in 2019 and 2020. Food insecurity in the past year was captured using the Household Food Security Survey Module and the Child Food Insecurity Experiences Scale. Changes in the prevalence and severity of food insecurity were examined using logistic and generalized logit regression models, respectively. Models included age, gender, racial-ethnic identity, and other sociodemographic characteristics associated with food insecurity to adjust for possible sample differences across waves. Models were weighted to reflect each country’s population.

Caregiver perceptions of England's universal infant school meal provision during the COVID-19 pandemic

Emyr Davies; Matia Vannoni; Sarah Steele

Published: January 2023   Journal: Journal of Public Health Policy
The United Nations (UN) recognises free school meals as critical, yet widely disrupted by COVID-19. This study investigated caregiver perceptions and responses to interruptions to the universal infant free school meal programme (UIFSM) in Cambridgeshire, England, using an opt-in online survey.
First do no harm overlooked: Analysis of COVID-19 clinical guidance for maternal and newborn care from 101 countries shows breastfeeding widely undermined

Karleen Gribble; Jennifer Cashin; Kathleen Marinelli (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Frontiers in Nutrition

In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) published clinical guidance for the care of newborns of mothers with COVID-19. Weighing the available evidence on SARS-CoV-2 infection against the well-established harms of maternal-infant separation, the WHO recommended maternal-infant proximity and breastfeeding even in the presence of maternal infection. Since then, the WHO’s approach has been validated by further research. However, early in the pandemic there was poor global alignment with the WHO recommendations. This study assessed guidance documents collected in November and December 2020 from 101 countries and two regional agencies on the care of newborns of mothers with COVID-19 for alignment with the WHO recommendations. Recommendations considered were: (1) skin-to-skin contact; (2) early initiation of breastfeeding; (3) rooming-in; (4) direct breastfeeding; (5) provision of expressed breastmilk; (6) provision of donor human milk; (7) wet nursing; (8) provision of breastmilk substitutes; (9) relactation; (10) psychological support for separated mothers; and (11) psychological support for separated infants.

Magnitude and determinants of food insecurity among pregnant women in Rwanda during the COVID-19 pandemic

Erigene Rutayisire; Michael Habtu; Nicholas Ngomi (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Journal of Agriculture and Food Research

Globally, food insecurity is becoming a major public health concern, and has seriously been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last decade, Rwanda has made significant improvement in terms of overall household food security. However, the magnitude of food insecurity among pregnant women is not well known. This study investigated the magnitude and factors associated with food insecurity among pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a cross-sectional study conducted in 30 health facilities across the country where a total of 1159 pregnant women in their first trimester of pregnancy were recruited during antenatal care visits (ANC).

Effects of the COVID-19 crisis on household food consumption and child nutrition in Mozambique

Margherita Squarcina; Eva-Maria Egger

Published: December 2022
This study investigates the short-term impacts of an aggregate socioeconomic shock on household food consumption and children’s nutrition using the case of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mozambique. In response to the economic downturn, households are expected to adjust their food choices both in terms of quality, towards cheaper and unhealthier food, and quantity, reducing diet diversification and increasing the exposure to malnutrition, mainly for children. Empirical evidence on such immediate effects is still scarce, mainly due to a lack of data. This paper aims to fill the evidence gap by relying on household survey data from 2019–20, which includes a detailed consumption module and anthropometric measures for children under five. It uses a repeated cross-sectional econometric analysis to look at the variation in household food consumption and child nutrition before and after the pandemic.
Cook like a Boss Online: an adapted intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic that effectively improved children's perceived cooking competence, movement competence and wellbeing

Lynsey Hollywood; Johann Issartel; David Gaul (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated physical inactivity, poor dietary intake and reduced mental wellbeing, contributing factors to non-communicable diseases in children. Cooking interventions are proposed as having a positive influence on children’s diet quality. Motor skills have been highlighted as essential for performance of cooking skills, and this movement may contribute to wellbeing. Additionally, perceived competence is a motivator for behaviour performance and thus important for understanding intervention effectiveness. Therefore, this research aimed to assess the effectiveness of an adapted virtual theory-based cooking intervention on perceived cooking competence, perceived movement competence and wellbeing. The effective theory-driven and co-created ‘Cook Like A Boss’ was adapted to a virtual five day camp-styled intervention, with 248 children across the island of Ireland participating during the pandemic. Pre- and post-intervention assessments of perceived cooking competence, perceived movement competence and wellbeing using validated measurements were completed through online surveys. Bivariate Correlations, paired samples t-tests and Hierarchical multiple regression modelling was conducted using SPSS to understand the relationships between the variables and the effect of the intervention.

Prolonged body weight gain, lifestyle changes and health-related quality of life in children during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown: a follow-up study

María Ángeles Azrak; María Victoria Fasano; Ana Julia Avico (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Further investigation is needed to define the impact of long-term pandemic lockdown in children. This study aims to examine changes in body mass index z-score (zBMI), lifestyle, Health-Related Quality of Life and proportion of overweight or obesity (OW/OB) in 6- to 9-year-old children in Argentina. Observational study with baseline measurements prior to lockdown and follow-up after eight months of strict restrictive measures (November 2020, first visit, n = 144) and after ten months of partial reopening (September 2021, second visit, n = 108). Anthropometric changes from baseline to first visit in lockdown group (LG) were compared with a historical control group (HCG, n = 134). Follow-up visits included anthropometric measures, lifestyle questionnaire and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory.

Household food security, dietary patterns and nutritional status of young children in a Nigerian community: situation of post-COVID-19 lockdown

Olodu Monday; A. A. Adeomi; O. J. Fagbulu (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
The emergence of the novel Coronavirus in late 2019 led to disruptions in the food, economic and health systems. There are projections that the pandemic will worsen hunger and malnutrition in families with young children and women of reproductive age in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). Therefore, this study investigated household food security status, dietary patterns and nutritional status of children in a Nigerian community during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total sample of 200 mother-child pairs was selected from a Nigerian community using a multistage sampling technique. A semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire, which had four sections, was used for data collection. A food security survey questionnaire was used to assess household food security, and a food frequency questionnaire was used to capture child food patterns. Dietary diversity was assessed using 24-hour dietary recall, and nutritional status was measured using anthropometric parameters. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Food consumption pattern among children in an English medium school during COVID-19

Nabhira Aftabi Binte Islam; Faria Tabassum Tanni; Arzu Akter (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine

Children never faced a pandemic situation. For this situation children’s lives are being affected, including their daily routine. This situation could have influenced both bad or good habit. One of the most alarming issue was their food consumption pattern during lockdown at home. This study aimed to assess an English medium school children’s food consumption habit during COVID-19 lockdown. This cross-sectional study was carried out about one of the English medium school children’s eating habits during the COVID-19 lockdown in Bangladesh. Online questionnaire was developed and delivered to the care giver of the children’s. Total 130 caregivers and 223 children were selected purposively. The study period was 1st October 2020 to February 2021.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 40 | Issue: 2 | No. of pages: 32-37 | Language: English | Topics: Education, Health, Nutrition | Tags: child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, school feeding programmes, social distance | Countries: Bangladesh
Impact of the COVID-19 kindergarten closure on overweight and obesity among 3- to 7-year-old children

Xiang Long; Xing‑Ying Li; Hong Jiang (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: World Journal of Pediatrics

Knowledge on the impact of the temporary kindergarten closure policy under COVID-19 in 2020 on childhood overweight and obesity is inadequate. We aimed to examine differences in rates of overweight and obesity from 2018 to 2021 among kindergarten children aged 3–7 years. Overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) > 1 standard deviation (SD) for age and sex, and obesity was defined as BMI > 2 SD for age and sex. Generalized linear mixed modeling was used for analysis.

Household income and its correlation with child hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study

Sharmilla Rengarajoo; Seok Tyug Tan

Published: December 2022   Journal: Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition
This study investigates the prevalence of household food insecurity and child hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside the relationships between household income and the occurrence of child hunger. Socio-demographic characteristics, including monthly household income, gender, and age of the surveyed child were parent-reported. The validated 10-item Radimer/Cornell Hunger and Food Insecurity Instrument was adopted to assess household food insecurity, parental food insecurity, and child hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parental lifestyle changes and correlations with children's dietary changes during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Greece: the COV-EAT study

Georgios Saltaouras; Maria Perperidi; Christos Georgiou (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Children
The aim of this study was to investigate changes in the eating behaviour of parents during the first lockdown implemented in Greece due to COVID-19 and to explore possible associations with corresponding changes in the eating behaviour of their children. A quantitative cross-sectional study was performed using an online questionnaire. The study sample consisted of 397 parents with children aged 2–18 years, who were recruited from 63 municipalities in Greece.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 9 | Issue: 12 | No. of pages: 10 | Language: English | Topics: Nutrition | Tags: child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, parent-child relationship, social distance | Countries: Greece
Audio visual and poster as a media to improve mothers' knowledge about stunting during Covid-19 pandemic

Siwu Levio; Langelo Wahyuni; Laurensi Meity Sasube

Published: December 2022   Journal: Jurnal Kesehatan dan Lingkungan Hidup

The  incidence  of  stunting  is  a  chronic  nutritional  problem  experienced  by  more  than  half  of children suffering from stunting in the world originating fromAsia (55 percent) while more than one-third(39 percent) live in Africa. Children who suffer from stunting will be more susceptible to disease and as adults are at risk for degenerative diseases. The impact of stunting is not only in terms  of  health  but  also  affects  the  level  of  intelligence  of  children.Stunting  remains  a  serious National problem in Indonesia, even during the Covid-19 pandemic there was an increase in the stunting  rate  of  31.8%  in  2020,  this  figure  is  still  far  above  the World  Health  Organization (WHO)standard of 20%.Although thestunting prevalence rate in North Sulawesi is still below the national figure (31.8%) which is 25.5%, there are still areas with a fairly high prevalence of stunting,  including  North  Minahasa  Regency  at  35%,  and  Kulu  Village  including  those  with  a high prevalence of stunting. During the Covid-19 pandemic, where we have to implement social distancing,  one  way  to  increase  public  knowledge  about  stunting  is  through  audio-visual  and posters. This  study  aims  to determinethe  effect  of  providing  education  through  audio visuals and  posters  on  mothers'  knowledge  about  stuntingduring  the  Covid-19  pandemic  in  Kulu Village, North Minahasa Regency, Province of North Sulawesi, Indonesia.This is a quantitative research  with  a  quasi-experimenttwo  group  pretest-posttest  design.  Group  A  was  given  an intervention  using  audio-visualand  posters,  while  group  B  as  a  control  was  only  given  poster media.  The  population  in  this  study  were  mothers  in  Kulu  Village  who  had  children  under  5 years old (balita), with a sampleof 40 mothers who were taken by purposive sampling method. The control and intervention groups were 20 mothers each.

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

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.
The relationship between nutrition-physical activity behaviors of autistic children with their families and fhildren's obesity levels during Covid pandemic

Cevik Guner U. Umran; Bilkay İrem

Published: December 2022   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
The family has a key role in the obesity management of children with autism. This study examines the relationship between the nutrition-physical activity behaviors of autistic children with their families and children’s obesity levels during covid-19 pandemic. The descriptive and cross-sectional study involved 80 parents of autistic children. A positive correlation was found between children’s mean BMI values before and during the pandemic(p = 0.000). Family Nutrition and Physical Activity Scale(FNPAS) and Brief Autism Mealtime Behavior Inventory(BAMBI) score were 55.18 ± 7.86 and 31.76 ± 8.79, respectively. In addition, it was found that 32.5% of the children ate more than before the pandemic, 50.0% engaged in less physical activity, and 16.3% didn’t do any physical activity. The study results suggesting the risk of obesity.
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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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