Assessment of obesity risk factors in Algerian children during COVID-19 lockdown
COVID-19 is a global pandemic, which has subsequently spread rapidly at all the countries of the world. The first measures taken to limit its spread were the imposition of social distancing and the lockdown. Although these measures are essential, they have important impacts on the behavior of individuals, their health and their lifestyles. The purpose of this study was to know the effect of the confinement on children. We carried out a cross-sectional prospective study on 100 children from the commune of Constantine, Algeria, including 54 boys and 46 girls, aged from 5 to 14 years old. Anthropometric measurements and a validated questionnaire have been completed. Our results showed that lockdown had a negative impact on the physical activity of children (decreased from 79% to 25%). Additionally, daily sitting time in front of TV and computer screens has increased compared to the pre-lockdown period. The frequency of obesity by sex, according to the WHO 2007 z-score references, is more frequent in boys than in girls, whether before or during confinement with a non-significant difference between genders. The high frequency observed of childhood obesity during the lockdown was also associated with eating habits and socio-economic status. This study allowed us to know the negative effects of confinement and its relationship with obesity in children. However, if we really wish to circumscribe the evolution of the phenomenon, it is necessary to act on the various factors identified as each having a share of responsibility in its occurrence.