Paula Moliterno1,2#, Alina Gansterer1,3#, Sarah Czernin1,3, Katrin Schönthaler1, Julia Matjazic1,3, Rhoia Neidenbach4, Caroline Ollerieth4 and Kurt Widhalm1,3*
1Austrian Academic Institute for Nutrition, Vienna, Austria 2Escuela de Nutrición, Universidad de la República, Uruguay 3Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria 4Institute of Sport Science, Department of Sports Medicine, Exercise Physiology and Prevention. University of Vienna, Austria #These authors contributed equally to this workFulltext PDF
Introduction: Changes in children’s daily schedules, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, may affect nutritional status. Our aim was to track changes in body weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) in Viennese school children during the COVID-19 pandemic. To our knowledge this is one of the first studies analyzing these changes during a year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. Materials and Methods: Observational prospective analysis (December 2019 to February 2021) of repeated anthropometric measurements (body weight and height, BMI), in 8- to 11-year-old children from a Viennese Primary School. Subgroup analyses by sex and weight status were conducted. Results: 37 children [median age 9; 20 boys] were included. At baseline 15 (40.5%) children were overweight/obese. Average change in weight was 8.28 (CI 95%: 7.02-9.55) kg. Within the first period of follow-up (t0 to t1), including the strictest lockdown in Austria, the BMI of the whole sample increased more compared to the second (t1 to t2) (1.50 v. 0.61 kg/m2 units, p=0.038), with boys increasing more weight than girls [1.67 (CI 95%: 0.20-3.15) kg, p=0.028]. Overall BMI in boys increased more than in girls (2.41 v. 1.27 kg/m2 units, p=0.032). Children with obesity at baseline gained more weight than normal weight children (11.6 v. 7.63 kg, p=0.014). Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, prevalence of excessive weight in this Viennese pediatric sample increased. Thus, maintaining steady daily routines and healthy interventions for children is essential, along with tailored interventions for those who are already obese.
Moliterno P, Gansterer A, Czernin S, Schönthaler K, Matjazic J, Neidenbach R, et al. 14-Months Follow-Up in 8- to 11-year-old Primary School Children from Vienna: Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Weight and Body Mass Index. Ann Pediatr Res. 2021; 5(2): 1060.