Obesity rates in children increased due to pandemic

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – The American Psychology Association reported that 61% of adults gained unwanted weight during the pandemic, but it is not just affecting adults.

A Centers for Disease Control study found increases in body mass index rates for kids ages 2-19 as well. OSF Healthcare Pediatrician Doctor Ben Mikeworth said that when the world shut down, so did many activities for kids.

Researchers said that 22.4% of kids are now considered obese. That is up from the pre-pandemic rate of 19.3%.

Mikeworth said that this is concerning.

“Well, we have had a pandemic, er epidemic, of pediatric obesity prior to the COVID pandemic, and obviously increasing rates of obesity in children can increase rates of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease and lifelong conditions that can really drastically affect health,” Mikeworth said.

Mikeworth said that changing this pattern starts at home, and recommends getting the whole family involved, and setting goals.

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