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Pandemic childhood obesity and sleep loss, it's all connected

Pandemic childhood obesity and sleep loss, it’s all connected

A study conducted by researchers fromUniversity of Pennsylvania, in the United States (USA), showed that 15.4% of kids visited in 29 clinics connected to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, during the period of pandemic of covid-19, he was obese, while in 2019 the percentage was 13.7%.

The increase occurred in all age groups, from 1% in adolescents aged 13 to 17 years to 2.6% in children aged 5 to 9 years.

thebody mass indexa (BMI) of 169,179 children and adolescents seen from June to December 2019 and compared with that of 145,081 patients consulted in the same period of 2020.

Another study, coordinated by Pennington Biomedial Research Center, also in the US, showed that for every additional hour of sleep in children between the ages of 3 and 5, there was a 0.48 reduction in BMI.

In addition to the excessive consumption of high calorie foods and to sedentary lifestyle, Duration of sleep is a risk factor for childhood obesity.

Another factor is that, if the individual sleeps less, in the case of children and adolescents, the body understands that it is very little and that the person is in a situation of stress .

We have two hormones that control our appetite: lepitin, which is the satiety hormone, and ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone. When I sleep less, I produce less lepitin and more ghrelin, that is, my appetite increases and the tendency is to eat more without the possibility of consuming.”Explain the doctors.

However, to avoid coronavirus contamination, children were forced to switch from outdoor activities to mobile games and distance learning school classes.

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When they spend a lot of time in front of screens, children eat several times a day, especially cookies, snacks, and sweets. And the big screen on the screens makes the little ones fall asleep later and wake up early.”Explain the doctors.

Expert recommendations to preventchildhood obesity They include maintaining a regular diet, with schedules for all family meals; the preference for natural foods over industrialized foods, such as canned and packaged foods; and the observation of the food pyramid, composed of eight groups of essential foods for health (carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy products, meat and eggs, legumes and oilseeds, oils and fats, sugars and sweets).