ESPE2021 ePoster Category 2 Fat, metabolism and obesity (59 abstracts)
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has tremendous effects on lifestyle that could potentially cause health-related problems. Therefore, extreme preventive measures were taken, including the closure of schools and after school activities. This dramatic alteration in daily routine could lead to adverse consequence of increasing obesity. In this study we aimed to investigate the change in weight status and body composition parameters of children and adolescents during the pandemic.
Methods: This real-life, observational study was conducted in the Pediatric Endocrine Unit in a tertiary medical center. Our unit has implemented the analysis of body composition by means of bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA, Tanita MC-780MA, GMON Professional Software) as part of routine assessment of patients referred for endocrine consultation. The BIA database was searched for children and adolescents (age 5-18 years) with the sole diagnosis of observation of growth and/or observation of puberty whose body composition parameters were measured during the COVID-19 pandemic (from May 15, 2020 until December 15, 2020). Included were subjects for whom pre-COVID-19 BIA measurements were available. Height, body mass index (BMI) and muscle-to-fat ratio (MFR) z-scores were calculated.
Results: 220 pediatric subjects (109 boys; mean current age 11.8 ± 3.3 years; 37 with underweight, 123 with normal weight, and 60 with overweight/obesity) were included in the analysis. During the pandemic the median [IQR] BMI z-scores significantly increased in subjects with underweight (from -2.07[-2.34, -1.88] to -1.73[-2.35, -1.35], P < 0.001) and normal weight (from -0.38[-0.95, 0.27] to -0.24[-0.87, 0.37], P = 0.035), while it did not change in subjects with overweight/obesity (from 1.74[1.40, 2.03] to 1.70[1.36, 1.97], P = 0.412). MFR z-scores significantly increased in subjects with underweight (P = 0.05) and normal weight (P = 0.008), but not in subjects with overweight/obesity (P = 0.169). There were significant associations in BMI z-scores (r = 0.961, P < 0.001) and MFR z-scores (r = 0.854, P < 0.001) before and during the pandemic.
Conclusions: Our findings are encouraging, since improvement in weight status and body composition parameters during the COVID-19 pandemic was observed in subjects with underweight and normal weight, and stability was observed in subjects with overweight/obesity.
22 Sep 2021 - 26 Sep 2021