Among the adults, cardiovascular fitness– which was measured while participants exercised on a treadmill– declined by 30%. And among children, the decline was even more significant at 53%.
In both groups, BMI rose as well. Among adults, BMI increased from 29.5 to 31.3. And among children, BMI increased from 18 to 19.3.
Although, the researchers did note that it is challenging to assess the significance of this rise in children due to changing body composition and rapid growth rates.
Regardless, previous reports indicated that children in the highest BMI categories were most severely impacted by shutdown-induced BMI increases.
“Our data falls in line with that,” Raine said.
Prior to the pandemic, Americans of all ages were already confronted with high rates of obesity. So, Raine believes new steps must be taken to battle the post-pandemic pounds.
“We need to have some public health strategies to help people get back on the right trajectory. And before the next pandemic appears on the horizon, there should be plans on how to prevent loss of fitness.”
The researchers also noted that there would not be a one-size-fits-all solution that works for all families. In turn, these approaches must be creative and thoughtful and prioritize widespread accessibility.
To read the study’s complete findings, visit the link here.
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