(WHTM) — With many schools teaching remotely during the pandemic, parents may have noticed that their kids have gained weight.
In fact, a study from the CDC shows kids between two and 19 gained weight nearly twice as fast, compared to pre-pandemic numbers.
“Some of the main reasons for the change in these numbers and the alarming results have to do with the increase in screen time that children were experiencing during the pandemic, a change in their sleep habits, an explosion in their stress level, lack of exercise and disruption of routines,” Dr. Susan Albers, a psychologist for Cleveland Clinic said.
Dr. Albers says what the study suggests is not so much a concern about weight gain, but the change in children’s habits during the pandemic.
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What can parents do to help with that?
She advises parents to be sure their child is getting enough sleep, isn’t eating in front of screens, has access to healthy foods and is staying active during the day.
It’s also important to avoid talking about weight or dieting as that can be triggering, and in some cases lead to eating disorders.
“Check in with your child, see what their stress level is, could this be at the heart of some of what they’re eating? Help them to tune into their bodies and investigate when they’re really hungry or when they’re eating because they’re stressed, bored or anxious,” Dr. Albers said.
Dr. Albers says the CDC study results aren’t unique to children, many adults also experienced weight gain during the pandemic.