Ones For Wellness: Childhood Obesity

In addition to the health impacts of COVID-19 itself, there is evidence that COVID can be connected to other diseases as well, including obesity.

Video Transcript

- A new study is revealing yet another side effect of the pandemic. We're talking about rising obesity rates in children. Brooke Katz takes a look at what doctors are seeing and what parents can do in today's Ones for Wellness.

NIRAJ MEHTA: You think 2% doesn't sound like a lot, but it is a lot. It's over a short period of time. And in children, this is going to affect them for the rest of their life.

BROOKE KATZ: While obesity has been a serious problem in the United States for years, Dr. Niraj Mehta, with Helical Health, says the pandemic is making it even worse.

NIRAJ MEHTA: There are so many things from diabetes and heart disease, high blood pressure to different types of cancer that are associated with obesity.

BROOKE KATZ: The new study, published in "Pediatrics," found rising rates across all age groups. But the most affected, kids between the ages of five and nine.

MIKIE RANGEL: Oftentimes in clinic, I'll see kids gain weight over the summer and then the routine comes back in September and they can kind of level off a little bit.

BROOKE KATZ: But Mikie Rangel, a clinical dietician with Children's Health, says because of the extended time off, it's been more like a perpetual summer break. She says lack of structure and exercise are two big factors. For parents, she says it's time to rethink meals and snacks.

MIKIE RANGEL: When you're offering a meal, when you're offering a snack, make sure that there's at least one choice that you know your child will eat. Make sure all the choices are healthy. And that's dinner, or that's the snack.

NIRAJ MEHTA: We gotta take baby steps. We got to start somewhere. You don't feel like doing much. Get up and go for a five minute walk. And if we want our kids to really see that this is a good thing, then let's model it for them and let's bring them along.

BROOKE KATZ: Brooke Katz, CBS 11 News.