What Causes This?

“Among a cohort of 432,302 persons aged 2–19, rate of body mass index increase approximately doubled during pandemic compared to prepandemic period. Persons w/ prepandemic overweight or obesity & younger school-aged children experienced largest increases.” https://t.co/vQPl5ILd17

I’m not sure I understand why, though. We didn’t have Spanish-style lockdowns where people weren’t allowed to go outside. Most people with children don’t live in huge, blue megalopolises. I was outside with Klara for 5-6 hours every day in April-May 2020 (before the schools reopened on June 1). Playgrounds were closed but there was a ton of other outside options. How come “no sitting at school all day” means more and not less fat?

23 thoughts on “What Causes This?

  1. The schools were closed but children till had virtual “school”. Many kids had to log in to zoom every day and with being glued to a screen, they move around even less than at school. Also many parents were working at home and not able to spend 5-6 hours outside With their kids. I was on maternity leave with a newborn and a kindergartner during lockdown, so I actually did have time as my newborn slept during our walks. The only school I had her complete every day was her reading the teacher assigned. Other than that we had “experiential” school with cooking, caring for the baby, walks, etc. Our nearby playground was my daughter’s school playground and there were actually security guards paid to keep people off the playground. It angered me a lot, we live in a city and don’t have the ability to just play in the backyard like suburban kids. The only time we got to use the park was the weekend, because there were no security guards then. We went for long walks but I’m guessing many parents didn’t make outside time after work a priority or just didn’t have enough time after their work day was done.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The report doesn’t say. What I can add is that, during my studies, I read somewhere or was told (I forget) that people who become obese do so by gaining an average of 30 grams or something per day or an extended period of time.

    I forget the exact figure but the point is that humans who get fat do so incrementally.

    Anyway 30g is literally a tablespoon and a half of fat, which isn’t particularly much.

    In a pandemic, when you combine lots of minor factors like stress increasing cortisol, plus avoiding a few outdoor events, visits, walks etc and substituting them with staying home in front of a screen, it isn’t hard for tablespoon sized increments to be added to anybody’s weight.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A lot of people (myself included) do not handle all-day fridge access well. That’s something they didn’t have when they were at school, or at the office. America is a nation of compulsive grazers.

    Add to that, a regimen of virtual school + virtual work + electronic babysitting, and yeah, you get massive weight gain.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well, my daughter’s phys ed. classes consisted of the kids watching YouTube videos. There were no extracurricular sports available. Kids couldn’t get together and run around & parents couldn’t necessarily replace all of that physical activity with our own stresses and trying to figure it all out. So a lot more of at home sitting versus running around at school and on week-end playdates.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Most teens switched to ‘sitting in front of a screen for fun’ mode, all day and every day.

    In general, most people are not athletic and won’t be outside for daily 1-2 hours w/o the need to travel to work, school and/or shopping for food. You are an outlier and Klara has been very fortunate.

    Haven’t you complained once that w/o parents driving teens have nowhere to go?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lots of kids are more likely to move when they’re in groups with others, and plenty of parents were too scared to allow kids to socialize in person. Between zoom school, all of the online “hangout” options that had kids in front of screens but not moving (and frequently snacking), parents working from home who need “quiet!” to do so, and (as someone else mentioned) 24/7 access to a food supply, it doesn’t surprise me at all. Even my already-homeschooled teens had to actually work to get in normal activity levels, because they were no longer going and doing the several activities a week that are highly active, nor were they able to hang out with the friends with whom they’d normally be playing basketball, volleyball, or other sports for fun because those parents were cray-cray (and 95% of them STILL won’t let their fully-vaccinated and masked kids socialize with mine who’ve got infection-conferred immunity).

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I didn’t have kids at home during this but I’ll bet I’d have been serving cookies and things during those long screen hours for school and so on. Things I wouldn’t normally serve as much, let alone push. It’s my unconscious reaction to unusual situations — it’s common to have parties and over-snack during hurricanes, at holidays, etc. and I’d have gone into this mode had I not thought about it, and I don’t think I would have reflected, I was in shock too.

    Now that you say it, if it happened, I’d go into European three-very-nice-meals-a-day, no-snacks mode, or if-snacks, formal snacks that are part of an overall meal plan.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Remember also, everyone went into baking during the lockdown. I don’t know why people bake to relax — I don’t enjoy it and don’t like baked goods. But I did as a teenager, because (a) it was the only cooking allowed; (b) I was jumping out of my skin, wanting to leave the house, and couldn’t, so this was a way to stand up and do something, use nervous energy; (c) I wanted to eat more than I was eating, so baking things for others was a way to sublimate. So I understand the compulsive bakers, but cannot see why they continue to be this way as adults, with control over their houses, not needing this neurotic outlet.

        In any case: a lot of baking happened during the lockdown, and it may have contributed to the fattening up.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I remember EVERYONE taking up baking during the early days of the pandemic. I’m going to put on my tinfoil hat and postulate this too was part of the agenda. Make everyone fatter and more will die. Especially since we now know obesity is a factor in the immune response to Covid-19.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, if people chose to bake instead of playing active games with their kids, whom can they blame, really? It’s not the school’s job to keep our kids away from the fridge and on the playground.

            I’m completely opposed to lockdowns and school closures. But this self-infantilization is driving me nuts. These same people will vaccinate their 3-year-olds because they don’t see it as their responsibility to look out for their children’s health.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’m only now alive because when I was 5 my grandfather kidnapped me from a Soviet hospital where awful things were being done. We all need to cultivate that mentality. It’s all on us. Enormous power is deployed against us to crush us. It’s up to us to resist. They’ll try to poison our children’s bodies and minds. Nobody will prevent this except for us.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. God bless your grandfather. I am so grateful for your beautiful mind and the blessed little community you have created in this corner of the internet. I love it here. I feel safe. You have facilitated that.

                As for the culture of unhealthy lifestyles, a fat people are more compliant. I remember a bumper sticker that read “fat people are harder to kidnap”. That is the mentality we are dealing with.

                I was overweight for so long and completely ensnared by the lies of the food corporations. Food is a drug for many people and they use it to anesthetize themselves. But they have drugged themselves into a stupor. And these kinds of people are more easily controlled. I discovered the corporations willfully addict consumers (oreo’s, doritoes, french fries). Television is a huge part of the problem as commercials target consumers with messages (especially early in the morning) to get them “craving” the foods they want. The foods are laden with chemicals that do horrible things to the brain and the body. Then, we even have fat people dancing around in commercials to promote “body positivity.” I have a niece who is 20 years old and who is morbidly obese. She posts pictures on facebook that cause me to blush. One was in a hand crocheted bra-like top. She is “proud” of her “curves”. I am ashamed for her. Who can truly be happy living like that? I was always ashamed of my weight and praise God He helped me break free from that prison of obesity.

                Many of my co-workers are showing up at zoom meetings having gained significant amounts of weight. It disheartens me. Sugar, fat and salt are the culprits and it is in everything. The only way to get away from it is to buy whole foods and cook at home. Even the weight watchers and other weight loss companies are scams (in my humble opinion). I lost 150 pounds without a program. I just started eating whole foods and eating less and started walking. Yes, it was hard, but it was totally worth it. But in that process I learned how toxic our “I deserve a break today” culture is. Everything around us is screaming “treat yourself”. Propaganda at every level of society. And it truly is the poor who suffer the most. People like Oprah have no excuse whatsoever.

                Liked by 1 person

              1. “I’m truly surprised the Australian people have not revolted against these lockdowns. The Australians have to be in league with China.”

                The Australian public is notoriously slow to anger. Then they get really mad all of a sudden, as you can see in the linked video.

                Also they aren’t in league with the Chinese so much as bought by the Chinese. The Chinese government has practically funded the Australian government for the past 20 or so years, through the purchase of mineral ores, real estate in a way similar to what happened in Canada, and spending several billion per year on the quite average Australian tertiary education sector.

                Many politicians and public servants have also been trapped in so-called honey traps, meaning videotaped having sex with prostitutes, or videotaped raping & molesting children while in China in so-called trade delegations, or are simply being bribed.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. “Ah! I had no idea about the Chinese presence in Australia. This explains a lot.”

                The value of Canadian exports to China is about 19 billion US.
                The value of US exports to China is about 106 billion US.
                The value of Australian exports to China is about 116 billion US.

                Australia is a nation of 26 million people and exports more to China than the whole USA does. The imbalance is appalling.

                Liked by 2 people

              3. That’s insane! This is truly eye-opening to me. I’m very thankful that you shared this info. Such an easy explanation but it never occurred to me to look for it. The numbers are absolutely crazy.


              1. “It sounds like a comedy skit. “An undisclosed amount of fries.”

                New Zealand has a fantastic international reputation because of things like the Hobbit movies being filmed there, but their political history is actually really backward. It wasn’t too long ago, for example, that subscribing to certain magazines required permission from the NZ government. They haven’t been out from under a government thumb for very long at all.

                That said, it still doesn’t explain the nuttiness of the fries comment or assembling all of the food for a photo as if it were bricks of cocaine. Even for NZ it’s over the top.

                Liked by 1 person

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