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The kids aren't all right: COVID-19-fueled stress eating, inequities, lack of fitness expected to boost obesity, experts say

The kids aren't all right: COVID-19-fueled stress eating, inequities, lack of fitness expected to boost obesity, experts say JAYNE O'DONNELL, ADRIANNA RODRIGUEZ | USA TODAY 16 hours ago Show Caption Pediatricians and public health experts predict a potentially dramatic increase in childhood obesity this year as months of pandemic eating, closed schools, stalled sports and public space restrictions extend indefinitely. About one in seven children have met the criteria for childhood obesity since 2016, when the federal National Survey of Children's Health changed its methodology, a report out Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found. Though the percentage of children considered obese declined slightly in the past 10 years, it is expected to jump in 2020. "We were making slow and steady progress until this," said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, a Northwestern University economist and professor. "It's likely we will have wiped out a lot of the progress that we've made over the last decade in childhood obesity." The trend, seen in pediatric offices, is especially concerning as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week expanded its definition of those at elevated risk of severe COVID-19 disease and death to include people with a body mass index of 25 to 30. Previously, only those with a BMI of 30 and higher were included. That could mean 72% of all Americans are at higher risk of severe disease based on their weight. Obesity is a top risk factor for nearly all of the chronic health conditions that make COVID-19 more dangerous, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer. Childhood obesity is a leading predictor of obesity later in life. BMI factors in weight and height to measure body fat. It can overestimate body fat in people with muscular builds and underestimate it in those who have lost muscle, according to the National Institutes of Health. Children are "gaining not insignificant amounts of weight," said Dr. Lisa Denike, who chairs pediatrics for Northwest Permanente in Portland, Oregon. "We've seen kids gain 10 to 20 pounds in a year, who may have had a BMI as a preteen in the 50 or 75th percentile and are now in the 95th percentile. That's a significant crossing of percentiles into obesity." Eli Lilly and Johnson Johnson pause COVID-19 vaccine trials. Why experts say that's reassuring, not frightening Denike said one 11-year-old patient at his physical was found to have gained 40 pounds. Type 2 diabetes rates in children are rising, and even though the boy doesn't have it now, Denike said, "I suspect he will in the coming years as his parents already have it." "He's home in an environment struggling with parents with the same issues rather than learning in health class and having activity outside," she said. "Kids are reflections of what their parents do." Racial, socioeconomic disparities Disparities in childhood obesity rates have existed for decades and mirror the disproportionate way COVID-19 affects people of color and those with low incomes, said Jamie Bussel, a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “In both cases, these outcomes reflect decades of disinvestment in specific communities and specific groups of people, often driven by the systemic racism and discrimination that are still so prevalent in our society,” he said. Young people in households making less than the federal poverty level are more than twice as likely to be obese as those at the highest income levels, the RWJF report said. The pandemic and economic recession made many of the factors leading to obesity worse, including poverty and health disparities, Bussel said.

HIP HIP NOT HOORAY Children as young as ten have had hip replacements due to obesity

CHILDREN as young as ten have had hip replacements due to obesity. Three girls aged ten to 14 had the op because they were overweight last year, the stats reveal. Children as young as ten have had hip replacements due to obesity 1 Children as young as ten have had hip replacements due to obesityCredit: Getty Images - Getty Nine girls and two boys aged 15 to 19 also needed surgery in the same year to April 2020. In the 12 months before that, 14 kids aged 15 to 19 had the op, as well as one boy aged between ten and 14. And the NHS Digital figures show the problem is rising. Only seven kids aged 15 to 19 had the op in 2017-18, with none in the ten to 14 age range. Hip replacements are usually given after other therapies and exercise have failed. Each op costs about £5,000 and implants last an average of 25 years. A report this year found that 20 per cent of Year 6 pupils are classed as obese. MOST READ IN HEALTH NEWS WARNING HORROR SHOWThe Exorcyst doc squeezes 10-year-old fatty lump size of a ball from man's back SYMPTOM CHECKERThe early Covid warning signs that can appear when you're most infectious RED ALERTMap reveals the number of coronavirus cases in YOUR local area EXCLUSIVE £500K NHS DOCUK’s highest-paid hospital consultant raked in £511,000 in NHS cash last year HOT SPOTSInteractive Covid map reveals how many cases are in YOUR area LIVING IN HELL'Long Covid' crippling 1,000s of Brits MONTHS after they caught the virus Experts fear the impact of Covid-19 and lockdowns have made the problem worse. PM Boris Johnson last month launched an obesity drive, with plans including a ban on junk food ads before 9pm and halting the sale of chocolates, crisps and sweets at checkouts. Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: “The fact that children as young as ten need these operations is an indictment on society. Just how many health professionals failed to take action on their behalf? “Boris Johnson’s ‘war on fat’ will do little to quell figures like these in future. He professes that preventing obesity is at the heart of his campaign yet there is little about prevention in it.”

Mexico obesity: Oaxaca bans sale of junk food to children Published6 August Workers carry sodas while wearing protective masks on May 9, 2020 in Queretaro , Mexico.IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES image captionMexicans consume large quantities of sugary drinks and obesity levels are high The Mexican state of Oaxaca has banned the sale of junk food and sugary drinks to children in an attempt to reduce high obesity and diabetes levels. Oaxaca is the first state to take the measure in Mexico, which has one of the world's highest rates of childhood obesity. People breaking the law can be fined and have their businesses closed. Re-offenders face jail terms. The move comes as Mexico's number of deaths linked to Covid-19 nears 50,000. Mexico's death toll is the third-highest in the world after the US and Brazil. Experts say being obese or overweight puts you at greater risk of serious illness or death from the virus. The Mexicans dying for a fizzy drink Obesity: Have 20 years of policies had any effect? About 73% of the Mexican population is overweight, compared to one-fifth of the population in 1996, according to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Mexicans consume more carbonated drinks per person than any other nation. IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES image captionObesity levels are so high that 1,000 police officers in Mexico City enrolled in a programme to lose weight Oaxaca is the Mexican state with the highest child obesity rate and the second-highest rate in adults, according to Oaxaca state health data. The passing of the law was greeted with applause from lawmakers inside the state Congress, but outside shop owners and street sellers were protesting against it. The law forbids the sale, distribution and promotion of sugary drinks and junk food to those under age. It will also apply to vending machines in schools. The lawmaker who introduced the bill, Magaly López Domínguez, said the idea was not to harm shop owners and street sellers. She argued that they could continue selling sugary drinks and junk food, just not to children. Mexico's deputy health minister and the country's coronavirus czar, Hugo López-Gatell, welcomed the move. Mr López-Gatell last month called sugary drinks "bottled poison" and urged people not to drink them. Christian Skoog, the Unicef representative in Mexico, also tweeted his approval (in Spanish), saying that such measures protected children's rights to quality and nutritious food. In 2014, Mexico introduced a tax on sugary drinks and junk food but it had so far stopped short of banning the sale of such items to children. Related Topics Mexico Obesity Soft drinks More on this story Coronavirus: Obesity increases risks from Covid-19, experts say Published24 July Coronavirus: Diabetics make up a fifth of Scottish hospital Covid-19 deaths Published30 May

The Mexican state of Oaxaca has banned the sale of junk food and sugary drinks to children in an attempt to reduce high obesity and diabetes levels. Oaxaca is the first state to take the measure in Mexico, which has one of the world's highest rates of childhood obesity. People breaking the law can be fined and have their businesses closed. Re-offenders face jail terms. The move comes as Mexico's number of deaths linked to Covid-19 nears 50,000. Mexico's death toll is the third-highest in the world after the US and Brazil. Experts say being obese or overweight puts you at greater risk of serious illness or death from the virus. The Mexicans dying for a fizzy drink Obesity: Have 20 years of policies had any effect? About 73% of the Mexican population is overweight, compared to one-fifth of the population in 1996, according to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Mexicans consume more carbonated drinks per person than any other nation. 1,000 Mexico City police officers have joined a program to lose weight, improve their health and do their work more efficiently, in a country where 75% of the adults are overweight or obese.IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES image captionObesity levels are so high that 1,000 police officers in Mexico City enrolled in a programme to lose weight Oaxaca is the Mexican state with the highest child obesity rate and the second-highest rate in adults, according to Oaxaca state health data. The passing of the law was greeted with applause from lawmakers inside the state Congress, but outside shop owners and street sellers were protesting against it. The law forbids the sale, distribution and promotion of sugary drinks and junk food to those under age. It will also apply to vending machines in schools. The lawmaker who introduced the bill, Magaly López Domínguez, said the idea was not to harm shop owners and street sellers. She argued that they could continue selling sugary drinks and junk food, just not to children. Mexico's deputy health minister and the country's coronavirus czar, Hugo López-Gatell, welcomed the move. Mr López-Gatell last month called sugary drinks "bottled poison" and urged people not to drink them. Christian Skoog, the Unicef representative in Mexico, also tweeted his approval (in Spanish), saying that such measures protected children's rights to quality and nutritious food. In 2014, Mexico introduced a tax on sugary drinks and junk food but it had so far stopped short of banning the sale of such items to children.

Child obesity action 'risks losing its way'

Government efforts to fight child obesity risk getting lost in reorganisations and delays, a report warns. The National Audit office says 20 years of targets and policies have had limited success and new initiatives may fall short too. It points to a lack of urgency and coordination, while the child obesity problem worsens in parts of the UK. Britain has one of the highest child obesity rates in Western Europe. A fifth of 10- to 11-year-olds are obese, according to latest figures for England. Obesity and deprivation % of children who are obese by deprivation level in neighbourhood, England Source: National Child Measurement Programme Obese children are much more likely to become obese adults, causing significant health risks. Children from deprived areas or ethnic minorities are far more likely to be obese - and the problem is escalating. But few interventions in the child obesity programme specifically address this, the NAO report says. Although the Department of Health and Social Care is responsible for setting and overseeing obesity policy in England, the cross-government nature of the child obesity programme means many projects are outside of its control. Child obesity: Will we see radical action? Children exceed recommended sugar limit by age 10 In 2016, the government published the first chapter of its plan aimed at slashing the child obesity rate over the next decade, through measures such as a sugar tax on fizzy drinks. A second chapter was published in 2018, promising to reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030. In July 2020 - amid growing evidence of a link between obesity and an increased risk from coronavirus - the prime minister set out the next steps, which include: a ban unhealthy "buy one, get one free" deals restrictions on junk-food advertising calorie labelling on restaurant menus But a ban on energy-drink sales to under-16s, mooted in 2018, has not gone ahead. And other policies, including the sugar tax on fizzy drinks, have not been fully evaluated to see what impact they have actually had, the NAO says. How has childhood obesity changed? % of children who are overweight or obese Source: Without assessing the success or failure of past strategies, the government will struggle to prioritise actions or apply lessons to its new approach with confidence of success, the report warns. Although there has been some progress in reducing sugar levels in popular foods, government will not meet its ambition to have industry reduce sugar by 20% in certain products by 2020, the report says. There is also limited awareness and co-ordination across departments of wider factors and activities that may affect childhood obesity rates, such as sponsorship of sporting events by the food industry. NAO head Gareth Davies said while the new strategy announced in July signalled "a greater intention" to tackle obesity, the government must now act with urgency. 'Bold action' A Department of Health and Social Care official said: "We are determined to tackle obesity across all ages and we have already taken significant action - cutting sugar from half of drinks on sale, funding exercise programmes in schools and working with councils to tackle child obesity locally. "We are also taking bold action through our new and ambitious obesity strategy... to help families make healthy choices." But Dr Layla McCay, from the NHS Confederation, said it appeared the government had not learned from the failures of past efforts. "This is such an important moment for effective action but it risks becoming lost amidst reorganisation and delays," she said. "At a time when obesity is in the spotlight for putting people with Covid-19 at greater risk of needing hospital admission or intensive care, it has never been clearer that an effective approach is needed." The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said money must follow commitments. "As ever, the communities that need these services most are those that have faced the most severe funding cuts," it added.

Helping My Child with Obesity Find a New PCP Showed Us Both What Quality Healthcare Should Look Like

“Living with obesity yourself is tough. Watching your children cope with it can be brutal.” – Nikki Massie, OAC Community Member NIKKI MASSIE, MA Nikki Massie knows what it is like to live with obesity. Through the years, she has fought hard to improve her health and navigate her treatment options, often forced to move past the shame and blame she faced from healthcare providers. Which is why, as a mother concerned about her child’s health (a teenager who is also affected by obesity), Nikki was anxious to begin the search for a new Primary Care Provider when her daughter turned 18. In addition to obesity, her daughter struggled with health conditions such as migraines and sleep problems. Nikki remembers the frustrating appointments she and her daughter went to with the pediatrician they used before. He didn’t understand how to talk about the subjects of weight and health in a meaningful way. Nikki writes, “He had good intentions, but the conversation usually ended up with him sharing how he lost weight as a teenager by simply not eating half of what he was served.” Not surprisingly, this “wisdom” wasn’t helpful. Obesity Care Providers: A Tool for Finding Healthcare that Effectively Helps Manage Obesity and Health There were growing pains involved as Nikki and her daughter faced the difficult transition from pediatrician to “adult doctor.” However, Nikki found comfort in knowing that the OAC provided her family with a valuable resource which would help. The OAC’s is a relatively new website that lets users search for a variety of medical providers who have experience treating patients with obesity. You can filter your search by zip code, provider specialty and other considerations, then be matched with primary care providers, surgeons, specialists, dietitians, nurse practitioners and more. After finding what appeared to be a good match, Nikki and her daughter braved that first appointment with a new provider. How would the doctor address her daughter’s obesity? Would her daughter feel comfortable and confident in learning to manage her health? Reflecting on Access to Care FALL 2019 ISSUE OF WEIGHT MATTERS MAGAZINE You’ll have to check out the OAC’s Spring issue of to get the full story, but this experience demonstrated to both Nikki and her daughter what true, quality healthcare for a patient with obesity should look like. It shines light on an important issue in the healthcare system if you live with obesity: finding the right care can be tough. Really tough. Many patients report feeling stigmatized or looked down upon because of their weight, which affected the level of care they received. However, a stigma-free and collaborative relationship with your healthcare provider can make an unbelievable difference in your health journey.

Parents are to blame for obese children - not governments

When a handful of British children went back to school for a nano-second at the end of June, a teacher friend described the moment she watched her pupils filing into the classroom as “jaw-dropping.” Many of her Year 2s “had gained up to a stone and could no longer fit into their uniforms,” she lamented. “One had put on so much weight over lockdown that even his gait had been affected.” Yes, but we’ve all piled it on since March. Yes, but with playgrounds and swimming pools closed and sports clubs suspended, it’s been so much harder to get kids out of the house. Yes, but the boredom factor can’t be underplayed here: all that extra time while parents were working from home had to be filled with something, namely snacking and sucking on the iTeat. Here’s a final ‘yes, but’ – and it’s the only one that matters: yes, but one child under five is being admitted to hospital every week because of obesity. One child. Every week. Advertisement Advertisement: 0:14 If you think the new NHS figures – released on Sunday – are shocking; if you’re struggling to take in the extra 534 boys and 420 girls under five admitted to hospital with obesity as their “secondary cause of admission” between 2019 and 2020, consider this: these figures won’t take into account the lockdown damage: the tiny shuffling figures teachers will watch filing into their classrooms next week. They won’t acknowledge the boy whose very ability to walk had been affected… by what? By a basic lack of parental accountability. We’re not allowed to talk in generalisations anymore. They’re offensive, exclusionary and above all true, which to use one of the most irritating PC-isms of the day is “problematic”. It’s also why they’ve been vetoed. But here’s a whopper for you: Brits aren’t great at personal accountability. Somewhere in our country’s flamboyant rejection of puritanism and restraint, we have decided that personal accountability is an outmoded concept. If we want to drink ourselves silly, why shouldn’t we? If we wanted to gorge on junk food – during lockdown and for years prior to that – ditch the wearing of ties to formal engagements and rock up to business meetings in shorts and flip-flops, we should be entitled to do that. We are now Let It All Hang Out Britain, with our own Prime Minister the poster boy, despite his U-turn on obesity. Just look at the state of him in the Highland holiday snaps he chose to release to the nation: artfully dishevelled, in stained trousers. All very touching in a ‘new dad’, only this man represents the country. Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds on holiday in Scotland Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds on holiday in Scotland Europe will be as appalled by those images as it is by the figures that, yet again, put Britain at the top of childhood obesity tables. Only they won’t be asking themselves how the government has allowed this epidemic to thrive to such shameful levels or indeed why schools haven’t done more to instill healthy eating habits in their pupils, but why British parents would be so slovenly as to put their own offspring at risk of a lifetime of health complications – complications that have risen by 80 per cent in terms of hospital admissions, according to the NHS, over the past year alone. You’d think that when a child’s diabetes, asthma, depression, fatty liver disease and joint pain sets in, parents would have to be confronted by their own failings, but because of our lack of accountability all we then do is blame others. It’s the fault of supermarkets for selling so much junk, advertisers for cynically promoting that junk, and food manufacturers for conning us with sugar-packed “healthy” snacks featuring our little ones’ favourite cartoon-characters on the packaging. It’s “genetic predisposition.” And all of those things do play a part, but every health professional discussing obesity with any degree of honesty will tell you that part is minimal when compared with parental influence and accountability. Reacting to the NHS figures on Sunday, Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance, implored the government to do more “especially in the early years” of a child’s life, and especially with “the most deprived communities”, where as many as 33 per cent of children are expected to be obese by 2030, if the wealth gap continues to widen. Thanks to Covid, it will. And both the government and schools need to do their bit in educating the parents in those deprived communities from pregnancy onwards. But what about the middle-class mums who buy their children a cupcake-a-day to make themselves feel better? What about the cross-class culture of TV dinners Britain has embraced for years? Short of putting the Coco Pops behind bars alongside fags and alcohol in shops, rationing sugary drinks and issuing health warnings with every McDonalds, the government’s obesity strategy can only ever be a starting point. Beyond that it comes down to the “self-discipline” and “resolve” the Queen mentioned in her “We Will Meet Again” address in April – an address that was unforgettable because those attributes have largely been forgotten.

CHILD OBESITY IS A MYTH

he Government wants to tackle obesity. So why do fat adults immediately focus on skinny children? Adults are fat, not Children We have good quality data on obesity and weight. This reflects one of the great values of a singular NHS that records patient data across the country. We know, for example, that more men are overweight than women, but that more women are obese than men. We know as well that London is thin and Yorkshire is fat and that the UK’s weight problem stopped getting worse in 2001 – and has been static ever since (albeit with an anomalous jump in 2016/17). This makes it particularly weird that whenever people look at ways to tackle the national waist bulge, conversation turns quickly to children. After all, only one in ten children is obese, compared to almost a third of adults. Policy Failure? The obsession with tiny numbers of obese children leads to some perverse policies. Take the newly announced ban on junk food advertising before 9pm. The 9pm watershed is designed specifically to control what children are subject to. This makes it a largely useless tool for dealing with us fat adults. Suggestions like putting more PE hours into school are similarly silly as I for one haven’t turned up for PE in decades. Meanwhile, no meaningful suggestions are forthcoming for getting 50-year-olds to take more exercise or to eat less food. Instead, fatuous nonsense about child obesity being a root cause of adult obesity gets spouted, despite the fact at least two out of every three of us fat adults were not fat as children. Target Audience The reason we fixate on children is complex. To an extent, we are accustomed to thinking we should intervene in the lives of children and we have obvious tools already in place to do so. Thinking the same way about a grown up is rather less comfortable, however, because we adults don’t like the idea someone will then tell “me” what to do. Additionally we have to note that the government is mostly popular with the over 50s – who are by coincidence more likely to be fat than the under 50s. This raises two problems in a country quite politically divided by age. Firstly, no one wants to hear from their government that they (and their tribe) are “the problem” in any policy matter. Secondly, this government became the government by spending years telling people to ignore po-faced expertise and instead do what feels good – the reverse of any policy instinct against obesity. Can Obesity Be Cut? If the government isn’t willing to confront its elderly support base with the fact that it is elderly people who make up the bulk of the bulky, then we might as well give up on obesity coming down. If it is willing, then what is needed is a dramatic change in how our society functions. Long working hours and extensive commutes leave little time for physical exercise or healthy cooking as leisure activities. Driving is particularly toxic, reducing the amount of walking or standing people do to travel. Lack of money is also a great cause of stress for millions and millions, and stress is known to add to weight gain. So the big question is how motivated the government really is. Will it do what is necessary – such as legislate for a shorter working week and/or pay employers to keep more people working from home so as to free up more family time. Would government perhaps tackle car-use across much of the country? Will the UK spend big on subsidising new parks, leisure centres and livelihoods to help millions back out of poverty and obesity? Or will this anti-obesity push fade after a publicity stunt and misdirected targeting of children? Share this:

What is the answer to the UK's child obesity epidemic?

What is the answer to the UK's child obesity epidemic? We already know that obesity in children is a global public health challenge. At this time of pandemic when they have so much free time to access gadgets, it's easy for everyone to sit for hours on end and stare at a screen and not get enough exercise. So what should we do about it?.. Gadgets are easily accessible to children nowadays Are you concerned about the amount of time that your child has been in front of a screen over the last few months? Don’t worry, I’m not about to say that computers and television are all bad! There are, of course, a lot of fun, educational programmes on TV and online that your child can learn from and that can help your child improve their skills and knowledge. As with so many things in life, it’s all about balance and setting limits. Being active is the best way to fight childhood obesity We know that a lot of children get their exercise from daily living and that’s what they are missing out on at the moment. Professor Viner, a paediatrician and adolescent physician at University College London's Institute for Child Health, said, “That's walking to school, walking around at school, moving between classes, kicking a football with your mates. That's how most children burn energy. But that's not happening for the great majority of children. In lockdown, most have not been able to do that.” He also said that the good exercise habits some families adopted at the start of the lockdown may well have faded. He added that “although families were eating fewer takeaways, the snack cupboard was always available.” Fast food has a big role in child obesity According to another study published in April 2020, by the University at Buffalo who said, “...we examined 41 overweight children under confinement throughout March and April in Verona, Italy. Compared to behaviours recorded a year prior, the children ate an additional meal per day; slept an extra half hour per day; added nearly five hours per day in front of the phone, computer and television screens; and dramatically increased their consumption of red meat, sugary drinks, and junk foods. Physical activity, on the other hand, decreased by more than two hours per week, and the number of vegetables consumed remained unchanged." (Source: Science Daily June 3, 2020) Gymnastics is the best sport Coming from a gymnastics background, it is needless to say that I am going to encourage you to keep your child as active as possible during lockdown. I truly believe that gymnastics is the foundation of all sports. It teaches us the fundamental movement and skills that are at the core of every other sport. We have created the Gym Classroom to help with your child's physical and emotional health. There are a combination of live and recorded online daily classes and engaging workouts to take part in from your home or garden. They will help your child improve their fitness levels, strength and flexibility. Plus there is a parents folder full of activities, support and resources dedicated to to the health and wellbeing of your whole family. Do some daily stretches with your child to improve their routine Daily movement is as important as watching what your child eats. Fill their time with some physical activities and make the most of the daily classes and workouts available to you at the Gym Classroom. They really are a lot of fun. Doing daily stretches with your child will help to give them some much needed routine and also improve the bond between you not to mention the improvement it will bring to your child’s physical and mental health. As things are beginning to relax and the 1-metre rule comes into effect we are making plans to get our members back to their clubs as soon as we possibly can subject to government guidelines. If you would like to join the Flair family we'd love to meet you! GOOD NEWS - We are now open for priority bookings

Obesity timebomb in primary schools as damning figures reveal three in ten reception pupils are already too fat Figures show that one fifth of children aged four or five are now considered fat Nine out of ten of the worst areas affected by obesity timebomb are in the North New data shows 75 per cent of Covid-19 intensive care patients are overweight

hree in ten reception class children are either obese or overweight in some parts of Britain, damning figures reveal. Nationwide, a fifth of children – 22.6 per cent – aged four or five are considered fat, according to Public Health England statistics. The worst areas are Knowsley, Merseyside, where 29.7 per cent of children are overweight or obese, followed by Hull (29.2 per cent) and Redcar and Cleveland (28.8 per cent). Three in ten reception class children are either obese or overweight in some parts of Britain, damning figures reveal [File photo] +2 Three in ten reception class children are either obese or overweight in some parts of Britain, damning figures reveal [File photo] Wolverhampton in the West Midlands was the only area in the top ten not in the North. Four were in Merseyside. Kingston upon Thames had the lowest figure but even there 15.6 per cent of children are obese or overweight, according to the figures from last year uncovered by the Lib Dems. The measurements were for pupils around England in their reception year. Layla Moran, Lib Dem leadership hopeful, said: ‘We are losing the battle against obesity and we need to act before it’s too late. In some areas, nearly one in three children are obese by the time they reach school. ‘Obesity increases the likelihood of developing chronic diseases, disability and early death. The Government needs to tackle this public health crisis and recognise there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. ‘We need a holistic package of measures to invest in children’s mental health and well-being, to empower teachers to run tailored school sports plans and to educate and incentivise parents to make healthier choices.’ RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next NHS launches 'urgent' review as shock figures show the death... Boris Johnson says gyms WILL reopen in a 'couple of weeks... SHARE THIS ARTICLE Share Around three in ten adults in England are clinically obese – a Body Mass Index above 30. The rate is among the highest in the western world. Obesity has been identified as a risk factor for dying of coronavirus. According to data from NHS hospitals, 75 per cent of Covid-19 patients in intensive care are overweight, compared with 65 per cent in the general population. Boris Johnson was reportedly convinced he ended up in intensive care with coronavirus because he was significantly overweight. The Prime Minister apparently told friends he weighed 17 and a half stone when admitted to hospital, meaning he would be classified as clinically obese. A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘We are determined to tackle the problem of obesity. We have already made huge progress towards our goal of halving childhood obesity by 2030 – cutting sugar from half of drinks on sale, funding exercise programmes in schools and working with councils to tackle child obesity locally.’ Nationwide, a fifth of children – 22.6 per cent – aged four or five are considered fat, according to Public Health England statistics +2 Nationwide, a fifth of children – 22.6 per cent – aged four or five are considered fat, according to Public Health England statistics Other areas with lower rates of obesity and overweight children include Richmond upon Thames, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wandsworth. There were no figures for the City of London or the Isles of Scilly. Mr Johnson has pledged to tackle the obesity crisis, noting that the UK is ‘significantly fatter’ than other European nations. He said this week that the UK would be ‘more resistant to diseases like Covid if we can tackle obesity’. More overweight people could be prescribed Weight Watchers diet plans as part of the new drive to tackle obesity. NHS prescriptions of Weight Watchers plans are only given to those at risk of Type 2 diabetes. They get nine months of help at a subsidised price. Those who need to shed the pounds will also be encouraged to take 30 minutes exercise a day – just as they are encouraged to eat their five-a-day of fruit and vegetables. This could involve following the exercise regime in a Joe Wicks video or another form of intense exercise. 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SumUp Sponsored Links 'This is panic buying not following the science': Department of Health spent £13.4million on Roche's coronavirus antibody tests for NHS workers days BEFORE publishing quality report EXCLUSIVE: Professor Jon Deeks, a medical testing expert at the University of Birmingham, told MailOnline PHE's work was 'not done in a way to make sure we get the best test'. News Four Seasons Screen House 3.65m x 4.3m £1,999.99 - gardenfurniturecentre.co.uk Sponsored Links Fourth of July violence across the US sees a seven-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy shot dead in Chicago while in NYC two are killed and at least 10 injured by gunfire Gunfire broke out in cities across the US during Independence Day celebrations on Saturday, leaving dozens of people injured and at least 14 dead, including two children in Chicago. News Thinning Hair? Use This Shampoo, See What Happens Cel Shampoo Sponsored Links Comments 221 Share what you think NewestOldestBest ratedWorst rated View all The comments below have not been moderated. View all The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Loading... Add your comment Enter your comment Post comment to your Facebook Timeline What's This? By posting your comment you agree to our house rules. Submit CommentClear Prince Harry postpones Invictus Games Düsseldorf till 2023 to give competitors 'time to prepare' after 2020 contest in The Hague was delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic Dominic Reid, CEO of Prince Harry's, 35, Invictus Games Foundation, shared a statement on Twitter revealing that the 2022 Düsseldorf contest will be postponed by a year amid the pandemic. 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Enter Now Omaze Sponsored Links MORE TOP STORIES BingSite Web Enter search term: Enter your search Search Like Daily Mail Follow Daily Mail Follow @DailyMail Follow Daily Mail Follow @dailymailuk Follow Daily Mail DON'T MISS Holly Willoughby is chic in a beige H initial jumper as she enjoys a pub lunch with her family to mark the end of lockdown Family outing Christine McGuinness displays her incredible toned frame in navy and white swimsuit as she poses in her garden Wow factor Laura Haddock 'is dating her White Lines co-star Tom Rhys Harries after playing siblings on-screen'... following split from husband Sam Claflin Strictly's Shirley Ballas, 59, is rushed to hospital with a broken ankle as she reassures fans she'll return to the BBC show after six-week recovery Celebs are back on the town! 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Raise a glass to Royal ravers Lady Amelia Windsor and Cassius Taylor who were among the first to head to the pub for booze after weeks of lockdown! Love Island's Molly-Mae Hague and boyfriend Tommy Fury opt for similar black outfits as they put on a smitten display while heading to a cafe Scott Disick, 37, and Sofia Richie, 21, look more than friendly as they reunite for the first time since their May break-up to spend the Fourth Of July together Summer body, super fast: If lock down has taken its toll on your waistline, these women have found the slimming secret that REALLY works (just look at their results!) 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NEWSLockdown has ‘negatively impacted childhood obesity’

kdown introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on childhood obesity, researchers have said. Children who were already struggling with their weight have been eating and sleeping more during the enforced lockdown period and exercising much less when compared to their routines a year ago. A team from the University at Buffalo studied 41 overweight children from Italy throughout March and April when the country was forced to go into lockdown in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus. Their findings found that the young people ended up eating an extra meal a day and slept for an extra half an hour on a daily basis. In addition, they had swapped out exercise for an extra five hours a day screen-time their intake of red meat, junk food and sugary drinks was also significantly increase. With obesity strongly associated with type 2 diabetes, these findings could impact the already spiralling numbers for the condition. The study was led by Dr Steven Heymsfield, professor at the Louisiana State University Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Dr Angelo Pietrobelli, professor at the University of Verona in Italy. Co-author of the study Myles Faith, childhood obesity expert from the University at Buffalo, said: “The tragic COVID-19 pandemic has collateral effects extending beyond direct viral infection. “Children and teens struggling with obesity are placed in an unfortunate position of isolation that appears to create an unfavourable environment for maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviours. “Recognising these adverse collateral effects of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown is critical in avoiding the depreciation of hard-fought weight control efforts among youths afflicted with excess weight. “Depending on the duration of the lockdown, the excess weight gained may not be easily reversible and might contribute to obesity during adulthood if healthier behaviours are not re-established. This is because childhood and adolescent obesity tend to track over time and predict weight status as adults.” The researchers are calling on experts to focus on introducing virtual healthy lifestyle programmes so families can be advised on taking appropriate lifestyle choices during lockdown periods. The findings have been published in the Obesity journal.

Childhood obesity is rising – and the link to inequality is clearer than ever The poorest children are experiencing the sharpest upward trend of excess weight.

hildhood obesity is on the rise, and the poorest children are seeing the largest increase. A new report by Public Health England released yesterday showed that children of both sexes in year six — as well as girls of reception age — have experienced an upwards trend in obesity and excess weight over the past decade. That trend is being driven by a widening divide along deprivation lines: in short, children in the most deprived areas are seeing the largest increase in obesity, severe obesity and excess weight. % Year six boys who are obese Source: PHE % Year six girls who are obese Source: PHE This is bad news for future public health, as obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood, and are therefore more likely to develop diabetes, heart and circulatory diseases later. “This report lays bare the complete lack of progress we are making in addressing excess weight in children, setting them up for an increased risk of disease as they get older,” says Caroline Cerny, alliance lead at Obesity Health Alliance. “[Being] overweight and obesity is increasing in boys and girls in year six and in girls just starting school. In all groups the upward trend is driven by increases in children from the most deprived backgrounds widening the already gaping inequality in children from poorest and richest backgrounds.” The statistics show a regional variation. Childhood obesity has risen the most outside of London and the South of England: the West Midlands has seen a 16 per cent rise in year six obesity, while in the North-west it has risen by 14 per cent. The regions of the country that have seen the biggest rise are — not by coincidence — the regions that have been hit hardest under austerity. Rise in child obesity between 2008/09 and 2018/19 Source: PHE The findings chime with those of a review released earlier this year by the Institute of Health Equity, marking ten years since Sir Michael Marmot's original review on health inequalities. It found that health inequality has risen across the board over the last decade — not just for children. In 2019, people could expect to spend more of their lives in poor health compared to 2010, life expectancy had stalled (and declined for the poorest 10 per cent of women), and the health gap had grown between wealthy and deprived areas. This decline in public health over the last decade may have heightened the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on England’s population, with a PHE report on Tuesday finding that obesity increased the risk of dying from Covid-19 by 27 per cent, and morbid obesity more than doubled the risk of dying — although children are among those least at risk from the virus. Funding cuts and austerity are largely to blame for rising health inequalities: areas outside London and the South-east experienced larger cuts, which undermined their capacity to improve the social determinants of public health. “This damage to health has been largely unnecessary,” the authors of the new Marmot review noted. “There is no biological reason for stalling life expectancy and widening health inequalities. Other countries are doing better, even those with longer life expectancy than England. The slowdown in life expectancy is not down to exceptionally cold winters or virulent flu, and cannot be attributed solely to problems with the NHS or social care – although declining funding relative to need in each sector will undoubtedly have played a role. “The increase in health inequalities in England points to social and economic conditions, many of which have shown increased inequalities, or deterioration since 2010.” Professor Russell Viner, president of the the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “The government has made welcome commitments on childhood obesity and young people’s mental health but we need to see delivery in these and other areas. “We have the evidence, the experience and the expertise to make real progress in the life of this government. It’s now time to deliver for children and young people. “We’re in danger of failing a generation if we don’t turn this situation around.”

Lots of good reasons to get moving! Being active isn't just about feeling stronger, fitter, more energetic and sleeping better. It's all about having fun! Kids need to be active for at least 60 minutes a day, with 30 minutes of this outside of school. This should include 3 sessions a week of activity that strengthens muscles and bones, so mix it up! And it's not just physically that kids benefits – being active also helps with mental health. Evidence shows that children and young people who are more active have more confidence, higher self-esteem, less anxiety and stress, and better social skills – attributes that can help them deal with the challenges they face in daily life. Having a positive attitude towards physical activity has also been associated with children being happier.

Make a change today!

If you are concerned about your child, speak to your GP or practice nurse to see what support is available locally. Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Start with one of the tips below and work your way through them all.

Get Sugar Smart We're all having too much sugar. Our kids might seem fine on the outside, but too much sugar can lead to the build-up of harmful fat on the inside.

School height and weight checks Has your child just been measured at school? The results can be surprising, but they're just a snapshot of your child's weight and it's not the end of the world. Get them back to a healthy weight with a few simple changes to help them eat more healthily and be more active.

School Closures During The Coronavirus Pandemic Might Worsen The Epidemic Of Childhood Obesity

The World Obesity Federation estimates that globally there are over 223 million school children who are obese. That number is expected to increase to 268 million by 2025. During the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization recommended school closures to prevent any further transmission of the virus. In the U.S., and also globally, schools are not expected to re-open any time soon. While children are forced to remain indoors, some researchers are growing concerned that pandemic’s longer-term effects on children’s health due to school closures might exacerbate the epidemic of childhood obesity. The researchers argue that data from previous studies show most children tend to gain weight, not during the school year. But rather, during summer vacation which lasts for at least two to three months. “Although we criticize schools a lot for poor nutrition and physical activity, children actually tend to gain weight during the summer months, when school is out of session,” says Andrew Rundle, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and lead author of the recent study that was published in the journal, Obesity. Today In: Healthcare COVID-19 Crowding Out Non-COVID-19 Healthcare And Drug Development Heart Drugs May Influence Gut Microbiome In Obese People, Says New Study It's Not Hopeless: These Doctors Explain What COVID-19 Has In Common With Diseases We Know How To Manage Rundle and his wife, Yoosun Park, who is the second author of the study, observed that whenever they went grocery shopping, there was always plenty of fresh produce available. “But the things that were missing were the microwave dinners, cookies, and other high energy and high calories snack foods items. Those are what people seem to be loading up on because the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told us to buy stable shelf foods that last for long,” adds Rundle. Initially, everyone was under the impression that the lockdown and school closures would not last for long. And so, Rundle says, parents and children alike looked at it as another period between Thanksgiving and Christmas when they have the license to eat more calories-rich food than usual. PROMOTED Many schools have already been closed for more than a month, and may not reopen until the fall. The researchers started looking at trade magazines and analyzed what kind of food was being sold and also, the statistics on online gaming. “What we're seeing is that yes, people were buying lots of energy-dense foods. The data on online gaming has also been going up,” explains Rundle. “The school closures are making it harder for kids to be physically active and that means, there’s also going to be a lot more snacking on unhealthy foods.” To add to that, the current economic crisis is also resulting in an increasing number of families facing food insecurity. The researchers point out that is another major risk factor for weight gain among children. Rundle further says the disparities of obesity risk among children are going to increase as the economic crisis is hitting lower-income households a lot more. “The lower your resources are, the more difficult it is to prevent children from becoming overweight. For example, for a low-income family living in a small apartment in Brooklyn or the Bronx, there's no place for the kids to be physically active. They can't run around inside the apartment and there is a lack of open spaces to be physically active whilst social distancing,” adds Rundle. “It's just harder to eat healthy when you are food insecure. And so, we expect that this will increase the disparities in weight gain between high and low-income families.” Dr Samantha Marsh, a research fellow in population health at The University of Auckland in New Zealand, says it is still too early to predict whether school closures during the coronavirus pandemic are going to exacerbate the obesity epidemic or not. She further says that a stressed home environment means family routines may be more difficult to maintain, including those routines that impact health-related behaviors associated with obesity, such as sleep, screen use, and family meals. “Stress also impacts the the emotional environment at home, which can interfere with parent-child interactions and, in turn, positive engagement in health-related behaviors,” she explains. While she maintains that in New Zealand, there is plenty of open space and a low population density, even in such a developed nation, certain population groups fall under the high-risk section for childhood obesity. For instance, the Maori people are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They also fall under the lower socio-economic groups who are at a higher risk of childhood obesity. “They're more likely to be living in crowded houses, apartments, or state homes. They may not have access to a lot of outdoor space either,” says Marsh. The author of one of the studies on how school children tend to gain weight more during summer break, Paul Von Hippel, who is also the associate professor at LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin, says it is likely that adults and children alike will try to relieve stress by binge eating comfort food – most of which are high in fat and simple carbohydrates. “We also know that the sales of flour and yeast are way up. People are watching more television, which is a strong predictor of obesity. Netflix has been one of the better-performing stocks. With these consumption patterns, there is going to be weight gain and the risk of obesity not just among children, but also adults,” says Hippel. He suggests that even for those who live in small apartments, to go for regular walks around the block while practising social distancing, doing simple exercises at home like jumping jacks, burpees and push-ups. Also, being creative at home and using home items like toilet paper to practice rigorous exercises. Childhood obesity is known to cause other health complications like type-2 diabetes, liver disease, bone, and joint problems, high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, sleep apnea, liver disease, and also respiratory problems such as asthma, according to the Childhood Obesity Foundation. “It can all seem pretty doom and gloom sometimes but we should always consider the construct of resilience in situations like this. Although there are kids who will have a negative outcome like weight gain as a result of COVID and disease-containment responses like school closures, there will also be kids who won’t have this negative outcome,” adds Marsh. “This tells us that despite the seemingly insurmountable structural barriers to health that these families face, many will still be able to find solutions that enable them to meet the needs of their children and, as a result, obtain a positive outcome, like no weight gain.” Follow me on Twitter. Anuradha Varanasi Anuradha Varanasi I am a freelance science writer with an MA degree in Science Journalism from The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. I write on the… Read More Print Site Feedback Tips Corrections Reprints & Permissions Terms Privacy © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. AdChoices Replay Unmute Current Time 1:00 / Duration 1:00 Share Fullscreen

Comment Published: 23 April 2020 Obesity and impaired metabolic health in patients with COVID-19

reliminary data suggest that people with obesity are at increased risk of severe COVID-19. However, as data on metabolic parameters (such as BMI and levels of glucose and insulin) in patients with COVID-19 are scarce, increased reporting is needed to improve our understanding of COVID-19 and the care of affected patients. In China, older age (≥65 years) and the presence of comorbidities are associated with a more severe course of COVID-19 in patients infected with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Among the comorbid conditions, the highest fatality rate was found for cardiovascular disease (CVD) (10.5%) and diabetes mellitus (7.3%), followed by chronic respiratory diseases (6.3%), hypertension (6.0%) and cancer (5.6%)1. A direct endocrine and metabolic link between hypertension and diabetes mellitus and coronavirus infection, which might involve angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, is being discussed2. Early data Studies from China1 and the Lombardy region of Italy3 that have reported comorbidities in patients with COVID-19 did not provide data on body weight and height, which are used to estimate adipose tissue mass by calculating the BMI. A descriptive study of a small sample of 24 (63% were men) critically ill patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Seattle region was among the first to report BMI data (3 patients with a BMI in the normal category, 7 with overweight, 13 with obesity and 1 with missing data). Although the numbers are too small for meaningful statistical analyses, 85% of the patients with obesity required mechanical ventilation and 62% of the patients with obesity died. These proportions are greater than those in the patients without obesity, in which 64% required mechanical ventilation and 36% died4. As CVD and diabetes mellitus are strongly associated with elevated adipose tissue mass5, a high BMI might be an important risk factor for a severe course of disease, particularly of pneumonia, in these patients. Concern about the effects of BMI is further substantiated by preliminary data from Shenzhen, China, and New York City, USA (the data have not been peer-reviewed). Among 383 patients from Shenzhen with COVID-19, overweight was associated with an 86% higher, and obesity with a 142% higher, risk of developing severe pneumonia compared with patients of normal weight in statistical models that controlled for potential confounders6. Among 4,103 patients with COVID-19 at an academic health system in New York City, BMI >40 kg/m2 was the second strongest independent predictor of hospitalization, after old age7. Furthermore, in a small study from a university hospital in Lille, France, reporting data from 124 patients with COVID-19, the need for invasive mechanical ventilation was associated with a BMI ≥35 kg/m2, independently of other comorbidities8. The parameters mediating this high risk are thought to include impaired respiratory mechanics, increased airway resistance and impaired gas exchange, as well as other pathophysiological features of obesity, such as low respiratory muscle strength and lung volumes9. The obesity paradox Conversely, an obesity survival paradox has been observed in patients with pneumonia. That is, despite the increased risk of pneumonia and difficulties of intubation and mask ventilation, the risk of death in patients with obesity and pneumonia might be decreased10. Potentially counter-balancing effects of obesity might include the more aggressive treatment provided to these patients, their increased metabolic reserve or other unidentified factors10. Thus, as a result of a potentially critical role of body weight or adiposity in determining the incidence and severity of pneumonia (and possibly other complications), it is important to collect anthropometric information for patients with COVID-19. Furthermore, the impaired metabolic health (characterized by hypertension, dyslipidaemia and hyperglycaemia) associated with obesity might also be present in those with normal weight or overweight5. Prediabetes, which is present in 38% of the adult population in the USA, was identified as an important risk factor for CVD and renal disease5. To what extent these cardiometabolic risk factors predispose individuals to severe disease independently of BMI remains to be determined. Conclusions In conclusion, to better estimate the risk of complications in patients with COVID-19, in addition to evaluation of standard hospital parameters (such as the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment, d-dimer and pro-inflammatory markers), the measurement of anthropometrics and metabolic parameters is crucial. These parameters include BMI, waist and hip circumferences and levels of glucose and insulin. The latter two parameters can be used for the estimation of insulin resistance, for example by calculation of the HOMA-IR. Knowledge about insulin resistance is important, because it is among the strongest determinants of impaired metabolic health, cardiac dysfunction and CVD-related mortality5. Such measurements might be useful both in a primary care setting and in a hospital setting to assess the risk of a complicated course of disease in patients with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test (Fig. 1). Fig. 1: Obesity-related comorbidities and mechanisms of a severe course of COVID-19. figure1 Patients with obesity often have respiratory dysfunction, which is characterized by alterations in respiratory mechanisms, increased airway resistance, impaired gas exchange and low lung volume and muscle strength. These individuals are predisposed to hypoventilation-associated pneumonia, pulmonary hypertension and cardiac stress. Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease, comorbidities that are considered to result in increased vulnerability to pneumonia-associated organ failures. However, even in the absence of comorbidities of obesity, the presence of hypertension, dyslipidaemia, prediabetes and insulin resistance might predispose individuals to cardiovascular events and increased susceptibility to infection via atherosclerosis, cardiac dysfunction and impaired immune response. Full size image In conclusion, while it is widely recognized that the presence of comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus and CVD is associated with a more severe course of COVID-19, obesity has hardly been investigated so far. Obesity is a main risk factor for these comorbidities and more generally for impaired metabolic health (such as dyslipidaemia and insulin resistance) and is also linked to an increased risk of pneumonia. Measurement of anthropometric characteristics and metabolic parameters is crucial to better estimate the risk of complications in patients with COVID-19.

School Closures During The Coronavirus Pandemic Might Worsen The Epidemic Of Childhood Obesity

.The World Obesity Federation estimates that globally there are over 223 million school children who are obese. That number is expected to increase to 268 million by 2025. During the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization recommended school closures to prevent any further transmission of the virus. In the U.S., and also globally, schools are not expected to re-open any time soon. While children are forced to remain indoors, some researchers are growing concerned that pandemic’s longer-term effects on children’s health due to school closures might exacerbate the epidemic of childhood obesity. The researchers argue that data from previous studies show most children tend to gain weight, not during the school year. But rather, during summer vacation which lasts for at least two to three months. “Although we criticize schools a lot for poor nutrition and physical activity, children actually tend to gain weight during the summer months, when school is out of session,” says Andrew Rundle, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and lead author of the recent study that was published in the journal, Obesity. Today In: Healthcare Rundle and his wife, Yoosun Park, who is the second author of the study, observed that whenever they went grocery shopping, there was always plenty of fresh produce available. “But the things that were missing were the microwave dinners, cookies, and other high energy and high calories snack foods items. Those are what people seem to be loading up on because the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told us to buy stable shelf foods that last for long,” adds Rundle. Initially, everyone was under the impression that the lockdown and school closures would not last for long. And so, Rundle says, parents and children alike looked at it as another period between Thanksgiving and Christmas when they have the license to eat more calories-rich food than usual. PROMOTED Many schools have already been closed for more than a month, and may not reopen until the fall. The researchers started looking at trade magazines and analyzed what kind of food was being sold and also, the statistics on online gaming. “What we're seeing is that yes, people were buying lots of energy-dense foods. The data on online gaming has also been going up,” explains Rundle. “The school closures are making it harder for kids to be physically active and that means, there’s also going to be a lot more snacking on unhealthy foods.” To add to that, the current economic crisis is also resulting in an increasing number of families facing food insecurity. The researchers point out that is another major risk factor for weight gain among children. Rundle further says the disparities of obesity risk among children are going to increase as the economic crisis is hitting lower-income households a lot more. “The lower your resources are, the more difficult it is to prevent children from becoming overweight. For example, for a low-income family living in a small apartment in Brooklyn or the Bronx, there's no place for the kids to be physically active. They can't run around inside the apartment and there is a lack of open spaces to be physically active whilst social distancing,” adds Rundle. “It's just harder to eat healthy when you are food insecure. And so, we expect that this will increase the disparities in weight gain between high and low-income families.” Samantha Marsh, a research fellow in population health at The University of Auckland in New Zealand, says it is still too early to predict whether school closures during the coronavirus pandemic are going to exacerbate the obesity epidemic or not. She says that if parents are stressed out and behaving a certain way, their children will inevitably pick up on that. While she maintains that in New Zealand, there is plenty of open space and a low population density, even in such a developed nation, certain population groups fall under the high-risk section for childhood obesity. “The Maori people are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. They also fall under the lower socio-economic groups who are at a higher risk of childhood obesity. For example, they're more likely to be living in crowded houses, apartments, or state homes. They may not have access to a lot of outdoor space either,” adds Marsh. The author of one of the studies on how school children tend to gain weight more during summer break, Paul Von Hippel, who is also the associate professor at LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin, says it is likely that adults and children alike will try to relieve stress by binge eating comfort food – most of which are high in fat and simple carbohydrates. “We also know that the sales of flour and yeast are way up. People are watching more television, which is a strong predictor of obesity. Netflix has been one of the better-performing stocks. With these consumption patterns, there is going to be weight gain and the risk of obesity not just among children, but also adults,” says Hippel. He suggests that even for those who live in small apartments, to go for regular walks around the block while practising social distancing, doing simple exercises at home like jumping jacks, burpees and push-ups. Also, being creative at home and using home items like toilet paper to practice rigorous exercises. Childhood obesity is known to cause other health complications like type-2 diabetes, liver disease, bone, and joint problems, high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, sleep apnea, liver disease, and also respiratory problems such as asthma, according to the Childhood Obesity Foundation. “It can all seem pretty doom and gloom sometimes but we should always consider the construct of resilience in situations like this. Although there are kids who will have a negative outcome like weight gain as a result of COVID and disease-containment responses like school closures, there will also be kids who won’t have this negative outcome,” adds Marsh. “This tells us that despite the seemingly insurmountable structural barriers to health that these families face, many will still be able to find solutions that enable them to meet the needs of their children and, as a result, obtain a positive outcome, like no weight gain.”

Teens who learn healthy cooking skills at home are more likely to plan balanced meals throughout life. Help your teen get #cooking by stocking your kitchen with these easy-to-prepare staples!

7 Kitchen Staples for Teen-Friendly Meals By Karen Ansel, MS, RDN, CDN Published March 9, 2018 Reviewed February 2018 Teens looking for a snack - 7 Kitchen Staples for Teen-Friendly Meals BananaStock/Thinkstock If you have teenage children, you've heard it before: "There's nothing to eat in this house!" Sure, you can do your part by buying lots of healthy foods. But your teen can get involved too, by helping to prepare some of those foods. Why? When teens learn healthy cooking skills at home, they'll be more likely to plan balanced meals when they become responsible for their own food choices after they leave home. To help your teen get cooking, stock your kitchen with these easy-to-prepare staples. Popcorn What teen doesn't crave crunchy snacks? Skip the chips and pretzels and invest in a popcorn popper. Popcorn is a whole grain, plus it's loaded with fiber for a healthy digestive system. Three air-popped cups deliver nearly four grams of fiber. Canned Beans When it comes to making a quick meal, it doesn't get much easier than canned beans — just rinse, drain and heat! They're perfect for burritos, mashed on a tortilla, or added to canned soup for extra protein. Nut Butters Even if teens have no clue how to cook, that doesn't mean they can't whip up a simple meal or snack. Nut and seed butters — such as peanut, almond or sunflower butter — all are perfect no-fuss foods for the novice cook. They're a cinch to spread on French toast with sliced bananas or make a tasty dip for apples, celery or bell pepper strips. Eggs Whether fried, scrambled or hard-boiled, eggs are an easy protein food for teen cooks. With a prep and cook time of less than five minutes, eggs are an easy addition to any meal. They are a great source of protein, vitamin B12, choline and phosphorus – all essential nutrients for teens. Prepped Vegetables It doesn't matter whether they're fresh, frozen or canned, the more pre-prepped vegetables you have on hand, the more likely your teen will eat them. Think pre-cut baby carrots and grape tomatoes for snacks, frozen edamame and peas to add to pasta and diced tomatoes for chili. Grains Busy teens don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, but that doesn't mean dinner has to be a sandwich. Quick-cooking whole grains such as quinoa, instant brown rice and whole-wheat couscous take less than 15 minutes from start to finish. For a speedy meal, teens can toss cooked whole grains with microwaved frozen vegetables, season them with less-sodium soy sauce, and add a convenient source of protein, such as cooked frozen or canned chicken or seafood, canned beans or tofu. Lean Protein When you teach teens basic cooking techniques you'll be amazed by how quickly they catch on. Start by showing them how to grill, bake or broil marinated chicken, fish or beef. Or, demonstrate how to sauté ground chicken or turkey, tempeh or tofu to add to spaghetti sauce, chili or tacos. Before you know it, your teen will be telling you what's for dinner. Karen Ansel, MS, RDN, CDN is a nutrition consultant, journalist and author specializing in nutrition, health and wellness. Tags

a campaign to empower moms to take small steps to make healthy eating fun and easy for their kids! What healthy steps can you make this month? Get off to a great start with this Healthy Choices game!

Just because it is a “kid’s drink” does not mean that it is actually healthy for kids. Here are 5 tips for healthy kids drinks

Why Do So Many Parents Miss To See Their Child's Obesity?

Researches say that parents are unlikely to recognise their child's obesity

One of the health concerns in children which is increasing day by day is childhood obesity. We all know that obesity leads to a lot of health issues, especially when developed at a very young age. Every parent is concerned about their children's health, but researchers have found that most often they are unable to recognise their child's obesity. In a recent study published in The British Journal of General Practice, it has highlighted that parents are unlikely to recognise childhood obesity in their kids. Play Video 1m 5s Why do so many parents miss their kid's obesity? Research says that parents are unlikely to recognize childhood obesity in their children, which could lead to health concerns. About The Study A study showed that parents are less likely to recognise childhood obesity in their kids. Obesity is one of the major lifestyle diseases in today's time, causing large number of deaths globally. Not only just adults, overweight children are at increased risk of mortality and disease too. (Also read: 6 Activities To Do With Kids When You Are Stuck At Home) jrkc2138 Parents ignore their kid's obesity The study result showed that 31 percent of parents have underestimated their child's weight and 1 percent overestimated this. In terms of acknowledging the extent of a child's obesity, only four parents out of 396 kids with clinical obesity described their child "as being very overweight." Also, the researchers said that parents with a higher body mass index (BMI) were more likely to struggle with the reality of a child's weight. Understanding parents' perceptions, beliefs and attitudes are important in the prevention and intervention of childhood obesity. Researchers also said that parents turn a blind eye to the issue since it's somewhat acceptable in society

The various psychological characteristics of children struggling with their weight, such as loneliness, anxiety and shyness, combined with similar characteristics of their parents or guardians and family dynamics affect outcomes of nutritional intervention have been examined by University of Notre Dame researchers. Complexity of Childhood Obesity Unraveled The Centers for Disease Control recently reported an estimated 1 in 5 children in the United States, ages 12-18, are living with prediabetes — increasing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as chronic kidney disease, heart disease and stroke. ‘The World Health Organization has estimated more than 340 million children and adolescents ages 5-19 are overweight or obese, and the epidemic has been linked to more deaths worldwide than those caused by being underweight.’ Efforts to stem the crisis have led clinicians and health professionals to examine both the nutritional and psychological factors of childhood obesity. What they found was a "network effect," suggesting a personalized, comprehensive approach to treatment could improve results of nutritional interventions. "Psychological characteristics clearly have interactional effects," said Nitesh Chawla, the Frank M. Freimann Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Notre Dame, director of the Center for Network and Data Science and a lead author of the study. "We can no longer simply view them as individualized risk factors to be assessed. We need to account for the specific characteristics for each child, viewing them as a holistic set for which to plan treatment." The Notre Dame team collaborated with the Centre for Nutritional Recovery and Education (CREN), a not-for-profit, nongovernmental nutritional clinic in São Paulo, Brazil, where patients participate in a two-year interdisciplinary treatment program including family counseling, nutritional workshops and various physical activities. Researchers analyzed the medical records and psychological assessments of 1,541 children who participated in the program. The study's key takeaway points to the significant impact parents and guardians have on their child's health when it comes to nutrition. Strong family dynamics, such as concern for behavior and treatment and a sense of protectiveness for the child, led to improved outcomes of nutritional interventions. A lack of authority, however, led to minimal changes in results. "This is quantitative evidence of the success and failure of interactions as they relate to the characteristics and interactions between the child and the parent or guardian," Chawla said. The study also highlights the need for clinics to expand their views on patient populations. For example, while treatment programs that incorporate development of interpersonal relationship — familial and otherwise — may improve outcomes of nutritional interventions, the same treatment plan may not have the same result for children experiencing loneliness coupled with anxiety. "For the group without anxiety, this makes sense when you consider a treatment plan focused on strengthening a child's social circle and address issues stemming from loneliness, such as poor social network, bullying or self-imposed isolation," said Gisela M.B. Solymos, co-author of the study, former general manager of CREN and former guest scholar at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame and at the Center for Network and Data Science. "But patients feeling loneliness and anxiety actually showed minimal changes to nutritional interventions, and may be more likely to benefit from additional services at clinics like CREN." Co-authors of the study include Keith Feldman, also at Notre Dame, and Maria Paula Albuquerque at CREN. The National Science Foundation partially funded the study.

STIGMA

The NHS currently spends £1m every hour treating diabetes, a condition strongly linked with obesity. Additionally, there is strong evidence emerging that obesity is also a major, preventable risk factor for a variety of cancers. But, stigma is one of the greatest barriers to overcoming obesity. Time to end the stigma of obesity, stop judging and start helping The UK Bariatric Surgery Registry contains data on over 60,000 patients. It clearly demonstrates that modern weight loss operations are highly effective and safe, with the potential to save the health service money by reducing the burden of diseases associated with obesity. However, the annual volume of bariatric surgery in the UK – at under 6,000 operations a year – is five to 10 times less than most European countries. In France, 50% of the population are obese or overweight (compared to two thirds of UK adults), yet more than 60,000 surgeries are carried out each year. Data from 2012 show Belgians and Swedes go under the knife even more frequently (928 and 761 operations per million citizens respectively), yet the UK performed just 117 bariatric procedures per million at that time and numbers have dwindled since. Will obesity bankrupt the NHS? The NHS currently spends £1m every hourtreating diabetes, a condition strongly linked with obesity. A recent study* showed that three-quarters of people with Type 2 diabetes treated with gastric bypass surgery, experienced diabetes remission within one year of treatment – a powerful argument for the NHS to invest to save. People who are seriously obese usually develop other medical conditions too. Worn out knee and hip joints are expensive to replace and there is plenty of evidence that obesity is closely linked to serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke and even cancer. Obesity is a major preventable cause of cancer There is strong evidence emerging that obesity is also a major, preventable risk factor for a variety of cancers, particularly women’s cancers and colon (large bowel cancer) in men. Even fairly mild obesity (BMI 25-35) can increase the risk of uterine (womb) cancer. Obesity may also reduce the chances of responding well to cancer treatment. It is thought that more than one in 20 cancers are directly caused by excess weight. In fact, obesity is now the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK after smoking. Stigma is one of the greatest barriers to overcoming obesity Stigma persists because some members of the public and even some medical professionals still see obesity as a lifestyle choice. But this way of thinking has to stop. Obesity might well have roots in unhappiness, psychological trauma, poverty, poor education or even just plain hedonism, but these triggers cause a catastrophic failure of the physiology that regulates the body’s normal energy intake. Surgery re-boots this natural control system, giving patients the chance of a better life. Severe obesity is a disease state and we need to start treating it as such. Let’s be clear – bariatric surgery isn’t a first-line treatment to aid weight loss (except in the most severe cases), but we should be working hard to remove obstacles to patients accessing effective obesity treatment once all other reasonable and appropriate measures have been tried.