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Shëndeti

The pandemic increases the number of obese, doctors raise the alarm: Most parents say their child is overweight

The pandemic increases the number of obese, doctors raise the alarm: Most

The Covid pandemic has ended but the consequences continue to be felt. According to a report by the World Health Organization, isolation increased the amount of time children spend on social networks, cutting them off from physical activities in nature. Even in Albania, the doctors of the Institute of Public Health say that many parents complain about their children being overweight.

"This ten-year-old loves screens so much that he tells us that he spends almost all his free time in front of the phone or TV. Sports attract him, but the opportunities to engage are only available during the weekend."

"The pandemic has ended, but its consequences continue to be felt. Isolation, according to a World Health Organization report involving school-aged children in 17 European countries, including Albania, increased time spent on social media, computer games, and reduced outdoor time, thus increasing the number of overweight children.

"We have a doubling of the number of parents who think their child is overweight compared to before the pandemic or obese. The perception of parents at the European level is about to quadruple during the pandemic. For physical activity, our national average is lower than the European one, almost 1 in 5 children has reduced physical activity both during the week and during the weekend. Sitting in front of the computer screen is increasing as we have almost 1 in 5 children from 1 in 3 that was before the pandemic."

Although many parents try to change these ratios, they often have no result.

But the pandemic registered a positive factor. Cooking meals at home and eating them together.

"Perhaps the closure and being together of all family members, referring perhaps to our tradition, has increased the cooking of meals within the family, the consumption of meals together, an improvement in breakfast consumption among children, with 1 in 4 children and has increased the consumption of breakfast while in the previous figures we had 60-65% of children consuming breakfast. The increased consumption of fruits and vegetables where Albania together with North Macedonia occupy the first place with a doubling of the number in relation to the European average. As our data trend from 18 to 25% of children have increased their fruit and vegetable consumption.”

In Europe, fruit and vegetable consumption is low, while 1 in 3 children is overweight or obese. The World Health Organization advises on improving nutrition patterns and increasing physical activity for children in the region.