The corona measures have had a negative impact on the lifestyle of children, according to a study by paediatricians at Maastricht UMC + in collaboration with other hospitals in the Netherlands.
Many children have had to stay at home due to the closures of schools and sports clubs. 75 percent of the children surveyed indicate that they exercise less because of this; about 50 minutes less per day compared to a year earlier. In addition, one in three children started to eat more unhealthy snacks during the crisis. The study also shows that as a result, the weight of about 20 percent of the children has increased since the crisis. This is approximately 40 percent in children who were already overweight.
For the study, called the COLC study (COVID-19, Obesity and Lifestyle in Children), 189 children in the Netherlands and their parents answered questionnaires at multiple times during the crisis. The questions included dietary patterns, physical activities, weight development, sleeping behavior and whether the children use online aids to exercise more at home.
The doctors at the MUMC + will continue to investigate the effects of the crisis on the lifestyle of children for the time being. On the basis of the results, the government can make better decisions in a possible second wave. In addition, it is now easier to reach children and their parents again and thus give more attention to improving the lifestyle.