Child obesity is a global epidemic with an estimated 158 million children-adolescents (5 to 19 years) expected to be obese by the year 2020. Unfortunately the recent episodes of COVID-19 has added to this phenomenon. Parents of young children must be aware of the dangers of obesity on the child’s future.
Obesity is due to three main factors. First is genetic, second is behavioral, and lastly environmental factors. We will discuss the current and future risks due to obesity of children.
Whether a child is obese can be gauged by measuring by his/her BMI. You can easily use a BMI calculator available on the net for children. The normal or healthy BMI for a child is between the 5th and 85th percentile.
COVID in Children
Fortunately, up to now medical complications of COVID-19 rarely seriously affect children. There are two reasons for this but they are not scientifically confirmed. On the contrary some recent scientific reports predict that the third wave of COVID will affect more children.
However, obese children are more likely to experience serious complications of corona virus if infected.
It is thought that the COVID virus propagates by attaching to angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptors. These receptor sites are mainly in the respiratory tract and the intestine. In children; however, the ACE-2 receptors are not well-developed.
Another reason forwarded is that BCG and MMR vaccines give some innate immunity.