January 21, 2021 12:26
A growing number of children and teenagers suffer from obesity and vitamin D deficiency because the coronavirus lockdown forced them into a sedentary, indoor existence.
Ahn Moon-bae at Catholic University of Korea's St. Mary's Hospital studied the body mass indices of 226 children aged four to 14 in Seoul and found that the proportion of those who were overweight rose from 23.9 percent in 2019 to 31.4 percent last year.
Twenty-two out of 158 children whose weight had been normal became obese last year.
Their vitamin D levels also declined because they had less exposure to sunlight. Calcifediol levels, which are used to gauge vitamin D, fell from 23.98 ㎎/㎗ in 2019 to 18.9 ㎎/㎗ last year.
"School closures and online classes resulted in extended periods of time children and teens spent at home, while exposure to the sun declined and caloric intakes grew," Ahn said. "Conditions have become even worse for children from low-income families because they are eating fewer school meals, which are more nutritionally balanced than what they may get at home."
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