बचपन के मोटापे का जर्नल खुला एक्सेस


The Impact of COVID-19 on Pediatric Obesity in Southern Nevada

Jocy-Anna Chevalier, Chad L. Cross, Rebecca Scherr, Sheniz Moonie

Background: During March of 2020, schools in Nevada were issued a lockdown mandate. During the same year, 16% of children aged 10 to 17 years were documented as obese in Nevada. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the short term impact of the pandemic on weight change among a clinical subset of pediatric youth residing in Southern Nevada.

Methods: Data were assessed for significant changes in BMI category overall and by race and insurance type. The McNemar-Bowker test was utilized to examine categorical BMI changes from pre to during pandemic timeframes and cross tabulated with the appropriate comparative variable. A two sample test for differences in proportions was used to compare insurance coverage groups.

Results: Overall, 493 (26.2%) patients increased their BMI category. Specifically, of the 654 subjects that were of normal weight during the pre-pandemic period, 168 (26%) became overweight and 12 (1.8%) became obese during the pandemic period of observation. Examination of race indicated that 151 (25.4%) whites, 74 (25.6%) blacks, 148 (29.2%) other race, and 120 (24.3%) of unknown race increased their BMI category; however, these differences were not statistically significant (χ2=3.49, p=0.322). Further, examination by insurance coverage indicated that 113 (22.2%) with commercial insurance and 378 (28.0%) with Medicaid coverage increased their BMI category (z=2.52, p=0.018).

Conclusion: Overall, a significant BMI increase was observed between the pre and during pandemic period among a clinical youth cohort (p<0.05). More studies are needed to determine factors associated with pediatric weight change as well as to identify targeted interventions necessary for Nevada’s pediatric population.