Pandemic Pounds: COVID-19 & Childhood Obesity

The COVID-19 pandemic is having an adverse effect on childhood obesity rates. KGW's Keely Chalmers reports.

(KGW/NBC News) — Over the last couple of years the problem of childhood obesity had been getting better.

“We were seeing some modest improvements in our rates of pediatric obesity,” says Dr. Lisa Denike, chief of pediatrics for Kaiser Permanente Northwest.

That was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What we’ve noticed since the start of the pandemic is that our kids that are coming in for their annual well-child checkups, we’re seeing a lot of weight gain over the past year for those children,” Dr. Denike says.

Kids that had typically been in the average weight range jumped into the 95th percentile, a range considered obese.

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