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Changes in Body Mass Index Among Children and Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with weight gain among adults,1 but little is known about the weight of US children and adolescents. To evaluate pandemic-related changes in weight in school-aged youths, we compared the body mass index (BMI; calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) of youths aged 5 to 17 years during the pandemic in 2020 with BMI in the same period before the pandemic in 2019.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Corinna Koebnick, PhD, Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 100 S Los Robles, Second Floor, Pasadena, CA 91101 (corinna.koebnick@kp.org).

Accepted for Publication: August 18, 2021.

Published Online: August 27, 2021. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.15036

Author Contributions: Dr Koebnick had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Drs Woolford and Sidell shared equal first-author roles.

Concept and design: Woolford, Sidell, Resnicow, Koebnick.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Woolford, Sidell, Li, Else, Young, Koebnick.

Drafting of the manuscript: Woolford, Sidell, Resnicow, Koebnick.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Woolford, Sidell, Li, Else, Young, Resnicow.

Statistical analysis: Woolford, Sidell, Li, Resnicow, Koebnick.

Obtained funding: Koebnick.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Else, Resnicow, Koebnick.

Supervision: Koebnick.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Funding/Support: The current project was supported by Kaiser Permanente Community Benefits.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: Kaiser Permanente had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

References
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Freedman  DS , Woo  JG , Ogden  CL , Xu  JH , Cole  TJ .  Distance and percentage distance from median BMI as alternatives to BMI z score.   Br J Nutr. 2020;124(5):493-500. doi:10.1017/S0007114519002046PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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