Pediatric obesity and body weight following the COVID-19 pandemic

Gal Dubnov-Raz*, Shay Maor, Tomer Ziv-Baran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: The SARS-CoV-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns affected children's lifestyle dramatically. The effect of such changes on children's weight and obesity status is unknown. The aim of this study was to compare body weight and obesity rates in children from before the pandemic to 6 months after the major periods of lockdowns in Israel. Methods: We used data from medical records of pediatric emergency department visits, where weight is routinely measured, to compare weight and obesity prevalence in the fourth quartile of 2020 (n = 2468) as compared with the fourth quartiles of 2018–2019 (n = 5300). Weight was transformed to age- and sex-specific standard-deviation-scores (SDS) for analysis. Results: Weight-SDS increased by a mean of 0.07 during the first 6 months of the pandemic, yet this was only significant in preschoolers. Obesity rates also increased in this age group only, by 37%, from 8.1% to 11.1% (p = 0.01). Conclusions: Weight-SDS and obesity prevalence increased during the SARS-CoV-19 pandemic, yet only in younger children. Additional studies from other populations are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-885
Number of pages5
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • children
  • coronavirus
  • electronic medical records
  • emergency room
  • overweight


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