SEOUL, April 13 (Korea Bizwire) — With school attendance halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, obesity-related indexes such as the body mass index (BMI) for children and teenagers have worsened, a recent study found.
A research team from the Samsung Medical Center conducted a study of 90 obesity patients in childhood and adolescence from 6 to 18 years of age who visited the hospital more than two times during the period between December 2019 and May 2020.
When the study begun, their average age was 12.2 with their average weight estimated at 67.2 kilograms. Their average BMI stood at 26.7.
In general, a BMI ranging from 18.5 to 22.9 is classified as normal, while those with a BMI higher than 23 are considered to be overweight or obese.
After monitoring the change in weight at an interval of four months, the research team found that the patients’ average weight increased by about 4 kilograms to 71.1 kilograms, with their average BMI rising to 27.7.
Metabolic syndrome-related indexes also increased during the period.
Among the 90 patients, 53 who were diagnosed as having non-alcoholic fatty liver saw their level of glycated hemoglobin rise from 5.6 percent to 6.9 percent.
The research team concluded that their outdoor activities declined sharply since school attendance was halted but their dietary habits remained unchanged, resulting in the worsening of their obesity.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)