HUNTINGTON WOODS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Doctors across the country, seeing the weights in their pediatric patients ticking up, as kids cement themselves in virtual learning.
Doctors worry that - long term- it could cause some negative health effects in youth, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma.
When we asked about the trend of your kid's weight amidst this pandemic, over half of those surveyed said they had a child experiencing weight gain.
"Kids of all ages, are seeing some changes in their weight," said Dr. Molly O'Shea. Dr. Molly O’Shea, from Birmingham Pediatrics, says she’s been tracking her patients over the last several months.
"We’re especially seeing it, in those middle school and high school-aged kid," adds O'Shea.
Online schooling has eliminated the opportunity for children to run around the playground during recess and participate in organized sports, all of which provide critical exercise. Kids are living a more sedentary lifestyle with excess time being just steps away from food all day.
"Roaming into the kitchen, finding something to eat and leaving again," said O' Shea. "It can lead to, easily lead to, becoming overweight."
Huntington Woods' mom, Erin Duchan, faced that challenge with her two girls early on.
"Initially when they went virtual, there wasn’t as much structure with the school and so a lot of it was, I need something to do," or "Can I have a snack," said Duchan.
Over time, Duchan found a way to nip that problem in the bud.
"Keeping snacks at a minimum, focusing more on meals," said Duchan. "Making sure I'm checking in with them, are you hungry or are you bored?" If it's just boredom, in this household, there’s a solution for that too.
A training wheels bike turned exercise machine, all made possible by placing the bike’s training wheels right into a pair of shoes! No need for pricey exercise equipment on your wish list when you’ve got this gem! She also leans on some other no-cost ways to keep her kids active like YouTube yoga for kids.
"Scavenger hunts on various floors of the house," said Duchan. "And play different games that involve running up and down the stairs."
"Whether it’s having a family dance party with your school aged kids," said O'Shea. "Or building an obstacle course in your basement. Things like this are ways you can stay active, have some fun as a family."
Get your body moving! That’s the prescription Dr. O’Shea gives to her patients and it doesn’t have to be contained to the indoors.
"Going outside in the winter is underrated. We should all be spending time outside regardless of the weather," said O'Shea.
"As long as there’s not snow and ice on the ground," added Duchan.
Here’s the Rebound Rundown:
- Curb the need for all-day eating, provide filling, well-balanced meals, and snacks
- Stick to whole fruits and veggies as much as possible
- Make sure school-aged kids get at least an hour of physical activity every day
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