Geisinger Doc on How the Pandemic Affected Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity and the Pandemic



DANVILLE— A local doctor says the pandemic has affected childhood obsensity.  Pediatrician Jennifer Hosterman Of Geisinger Medical Center says that before the pandemic, nearly 20 percent of the kids under 19 in the United States were obsese.

She predicts that number will rise, because the pandemic has affected kids’ nutrition, physical activity, and socialization.  Add to that that lower income children are at a higher risk for obesity and have some of the same risk factors as those for COVID-19.

“In a way, having obesity was a pandemic upon a pandemic for some of these kids and these families so its been tough for a lot of them,” Hosterman said.

Hosterman says that when the pandemic started, children lost access to regular sources of healthy meals because schools closed.  Also, they became more sedentary because they were not walking to and from school, playing sports, and playgrounds were closed.  Also, virtual school led to kids sitting in front of screens for hours, which will led to more obesity problems.  You can hear from Dr. Hosterman from her WKOK Sunrise appearance on WKOK’s podcast page. x


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