DENVER (KDVR) — According to local pediatricians, the typical school aged kid in Colorado between the age of 10-17 has gained upwards of 10 additional pounds during the pandemic.
That’s compared to what they should’ve gained in a normal year, experts explained.
“We are seeing maybe 10 pounds more than what they should. Sometimes 15-20 pounds more than what they should,” said Dr. Heather Isaacson, a pediatrician at UCHealth’s Longmont Clinic.
Being at home more with less social interaction and too much screen time is playing a major role in children’s weight gain, Isaacson added.
“Because they’re at home more and having access to food more,” Isaacson said.
Rather than worry about their child’s pandemic weight gain, area pediatricians recommend parents pay closer attention to the habits they might see developing among their children.
That way they can see if there are any adjustments that need to be made.
“We don’t recommend a diet, we don’t feel like diets are appropriate for kids,” Isaacson said.
According to experts, childhood dieting can increase the risk of eating disorders later on in life.
Instead, doctors suggest parents try and implement healthier options into their kids’ daily snacks and meals.
“In general, if you don’t have a lot of junk food around then they won’t be eating it. And of course, there can be some treats sometimes. We have to be practical,” Isaacson said.
The latest data shows Colorado’s obesity rate among youth ages 10-17 is below the national average.
Colorado’s rate is at 10.9%, while the national average is at 15.5%.