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Matheson BE1, Herdes RE2, Garza D3, Shepard WE4, Bruzoni M3, Pratt JSA5, Abu El Haija M2*
1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA
2Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA
3Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA
4Department of Pediatrics, Division of General Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA
5Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA
Corresponding Author: Marwa Abu El Haija, MD ORCID iD
Address: Stanford University School of Medicine, 750 Welch Road Suite 116 Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.
Received date: 30 November 2020; Accepted date: 11 January 2021; Published date: 19 January 2021
Citation: Matheson BE, Herdes RE, Garza D, Shepard WE, Bruzoni M, Pratt JSA, Abu El Haija M. The Immediate Impact of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on Adolescents with Severe Obesity - Another Pandemic. Asp J Pediatrics Child Health. 2021 Jan 11;2(3):62-71.
Copyright © 2021 Matheson BE, Herdes RE, Garza D, Shepard WE, Bruzoni M, Pratt JSA, Abu El Haija M. This is an open-access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Severe Obesity, Pandemic, Bariatric Surgery, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Obesity, Child, Adolescent
Background: The impact of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) on the health and well-being of adolescents with obesity is currently unknown. The shelter-in place (SIP) orders imposed disruptions in everyday routines for all persons, including youth with obesity. Obtaining real-time data could offer important information about how youth with severe obesity are faring in the midst of this global crisis. Hence, this cross-sectional study aims to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health-related behavior changes in adolescent patients with severe obesity.
Methods: Fifteen adolescents with severe obesity (M ± SD: 16.40 ± 1.67 years; 66.7% female; 40% Hispanic) and 19 parents (45.83 ± 6.98 years; 94.7% female; 47.4% Hispanic) receiving care at an adolescent bariatric surgery clinic at a university medical center participated (20% response). Participants completed an online survey about the impact of COVID-19 and SIP on: eating habits, physical activity, sleep, screen time, mood, and motivation for behavior change. Parents completed similar questions regarding the impact of SIP on their child’s health.
Results: Descriptive analyses revealed adolescents reported varied sleep quality and quantity, later bedtimes, increased home-cooked and family meals, decreased takeout food consumption, and increased anxiety levels. Almost half reported increased snacking. Changes in physical activity were noted. Parent and adolescent responses were mostly aligned, with the exception of self-reported weight change.
Conclusions: Adolescents with severe obesity are facing challenges in maintaining health-related behavioral goals during SIP. Providers should be prepared to discuss and manage the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent patients with obesity.