Doctors fear pandemic obesity

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Doctors fear pandemic obesity
Advocacy officer with the Healthy Coalition Caribbean (HCC), Danielle Walwyn. (GP)

Doctors and health advocates are concerned that the decreasing level of physical activity which intensified because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will lead to an increase in obesity in children.

That point was raised on Thursday during the World Obesity’s Federation’s webinar entitled Obesity And Cancer – A Looming Public Health Concern For The Caribbean Region.

During the meeting which was held on Zoom, advocacy officer with the Healthy Coalition Caribbean (HCC), Danielle Walwyn, highlighted the worrying trend.

“One of the things that has been brought to our attention by paediatricians across the region, is that since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in weight gain among their patients.

Moving less

“And on World Obesity Day [March 4] they wrote a letter that highlighted the fact that our children are moving less as a result of the new environment they are navigating, and that they’ve seen an increase in mental health concerns,” Walwyn said.

She said to address this issue, government, the private sector and individual efforts were necessary.

“Governments should start prioritising the need for strong policies to protect for the health of children and young people. The private sector should halt targeted marketing of unhealthy products on digital platforms, as this is something we’ve seen a significant increase in,” she added. (TG)