Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdowns on Body Mass Index of Primary School Children from Different Socioeconomic Backgrounds.

Publication date: Mar 01, 2024

Childhood obesity is associated with various health outcomes. Restrictive measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, like lockdowns and school closures, affected children’s daily structure, physical activity, dietary habits, and sleep quality, possibly exacerbating risk factors for childhood obesity and higher body mass index (BMI) in children. Poor socioeconomic conditions may have led to relatively higher risk for elevated BMI levels following pandemic measures. In this study, the impact of measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic on the BMI of third graders was investigated regarding children’s socioeconomic background (SEB). Data from 41,728 children (8. 84 +/- 0. 56 years, 20,431 female) were collected in the context of a cohort study. Children were tested either before the pandemic (pre: Sept2017-March2020, n = 26,314), or following the first (post: Aug2020-Dec2020, n = 6657) or second lockdown in Germany (post: Aug2021-Jan2022, n = 8757). SEB was based on the official school type classification of the state of Berlin. Outcome was BMI standard deviation scores (SDS). Significant effects of Time and SEB revealed elevated BMIs in post (M = 0. 23, p = 0. 011) and post (M = 0. 22, p = 0. 011) compared to pre (M = 0. 17) cohorts and higher BMIs for children with lower SEB (b = - 0. 13, p 

Concepts Keywords
Coronavirus BMI z-score
Female Childhood obesity
Germany Childhood overweight
Obesity Physical literacy


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 Pandemic
disease MESH Childhood obesity
disease MESH sleep quality
drug DRUGBANK Sodium lauryl sulfate
disease VO time

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