Child obesity is an epidemic in America

Corona pandemic promotes obesity in children

They exercise less and have less access to school meals: Children could develop obesity more often because of the corona pandemic, warns the World Health Organization.

The Copenhagen-based regional office believes that school closings and lockdowns could have negative consequences for the diet and exercise of children, such as lack of access to school meals and lack of physical activity. Preventive measures should therefore have priority, demanded the office.

"Covid-19 could potentially exacerbate one of the most worrying trends in the WHO Europe region - increasing obesity among children," said WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge. Overweight and obesity are directly linked to life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

To enable a better future for future generations, action based on science and data needs to be taken that can encourage healthier diets and physical activity, and which could help reduce obesity in children.

According to a WHO report published on Tuesday, one in three children between the ages of six and nine in some countries in the Region is overweight or obese.

This problem is greatest in the Mediterranean countries, but the situation there is slowly improving: According to the WHO, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, among others, are showing a decreasing trend. The report is based on the latest available data from 36 countries from the school years 2015/16 and 2016/17.