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Effects of COVID-19 lockdown on weight in a cohort of allergic children and adolescents

Ital J Pediatr. 2022 Jun 10;48(1):88. doi: 10.1186/s13052-022-01273-y.


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 lockdown caused sudden changes in people’s lifestyle, as a consequence of the forced lockdown imposed by governments all over the world. We aimed to evaluate the impact of lockdown on body mass index (BMI) in a cohort of allergic children and adolescents.

METHODS: From the first of June until the end of October 2020, we submitted a written questionnaire to all the patients who, after lockdown, carried out a visit at the Pediatric Allergy Unit of the Department of Mother-Child, Urological Science, Sapienza University of Rome. The questionnaire was composed by 10 questions, referring to the changes in their daily activities. Data were extrapolated from the questionnaire and then analyzed considering six variables: BMI before and BMI after lockdown, sugar intake, sport, screens, sleep, and anxiety.

RESULTS: One hundred fifty-three patients agreed to answer our questionnaire. Results showed a statistically significant increase in the BMI after lockdown (20.97 kg/m2 ± 2.63) with respect to the BMI before lockdown (19.18 kg/m2 ± 2.70). A multivariate regression analysis showed that the two variables that mostly influenced the increase in BMI were sleep and anxiety.

CONCLUSIONS: For the analyzed cohort of allergic children and adolescents we obtained significant gain in BMI as consequences of lockdown, which can be explained by many factors: high consumption of consolatory food, less sport activities, more time spent in front of screens, sleep alteration associated with increased anxiety. All these factors acted together, although sleep alteration and increased anxiety were the most influential factors that led to the worsening or the onset of weight gain, creating the basis for future health problems.

PMID:35689248 | DOI:10.1186/s13052-022-01273-y

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