Childhood obesity and COVID-19

Childhood obesity and COVID-19

Retrospective studies comparing child BMI recordings pre and post pandemic indicate a rise in obesity levels, among all age groups [1,2,3]. Risk factors believed to exacerbate overweight included:

  • reduced physical activity,
  • increased screen time, and
  • access to unhealthy foods.

Local data post pandemic is still being collected, but 10 years ago nearly one third of Gibraltarian children were already seen to be either overweight or obese.

According to our adult population 28.8% are obese and 65.6% are overweight (Health Survey 2021), and studies show that family dynamics, parental weight and home environment do have a large impact on child weight.

Obesity can cause several physical, social, and emotional problems; including long term illness, stigma, increased risk of hospitalisation and reduced life expectancy.

Obesity is preventable.

If you are concerned about your child’s weight, contact your healthcare provider.