Increase in Obesity among Three-and Four-Year-Olds Observed during the Pandemic


eMediNexus    29 December 2022

According to a study published in the European Journal of Public Health, an increase in obesity was seen in children between the ages of three and four during the pandemic. The study analyzed the data of 25,049 children aged three to five who underwent regular health checks at child health centers in the counties of Dalarna, Jonkoping, and Sormland in Sweden.


The findings of the study showed a rise in the BMI (body mass index) of three-year-olds during the pandemic. The results showed that the proportion of obese girls rose from 2.8% to 3.9% during the pandemic. Meanwhile, for the boys, the corresponding proportions were 2.4 and 2.6%.


The researchers stated that the proportion of three-year-old girls with what is usually classified as normal weight declined from 82.6% to 80.9% during the pandemic. However, they did not observe any corresponding changes in normal weight status in the group of three-year-old boys.


In the four-year-old group, there was a significant increase in BMI. The researchers found that the rise in obesity was similar among girls and boys. The study showed that the proportion of overweight girls rose from 11.1 to 12.8%, while the proportion of underweight boys fell from 2.0 to 1.4%. The group of five-year-olds showed no BMI changes.


Additionally, the study revealed that BMI changes and socioeconomic status were related, especially among children in the most disadvantaged areas. In disadvantaged areas, the proportion of three- and four-year-olds who are overweight rose from 9.5 to 12.4%. Similarly, the proportion of obese people increased from 2.5 to 4.4%, while the proportion of normal-weight people decreased.  


(Source: https://theprint.in/health/study-finds-increase-in-obesity-among-three-and-four-year-olds-during-pandemic/1287085/ )

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