Childhood obesity has severally been tagged as one of the 21st century public health challenges. It has been revealed that this challenge which was an established high income country problem is now also an increasing problem in low and middle income countries. Estimate revealed that more than 42 million under-5 children globally are either overweight or Obese. More threatening is the observed 30% increase in the developing countries estimate when compared to that of the developed countries.
Physical activity has been shown to reduce the burden of obesity. Intentional physical activity is not a cultural part of Africans but involvement of children in extracurricular activity in schools and neighbourhood (such as involvement in football playing etc.) among other alternative means has been a good tool in the promotion of physical activity.
Restrictions by government as a result of the corona virus pandemic (COVID-19) has the potential to increase the energy intake of children, adolescents and adults and reduce the energy expenditure as the means of physical activity are blocked due to the recommendation of self-isolation as a means to contain the pandemic. The restriction can boost the weight gain owing to increased calorie intake with no physical activity to expend the increased calorie intake.
Obesity in children and adolescent has great consequences on health outcomes, quality of life and psycho-social domain. In adult and young ones, the onset of psychological disorders and psychiatric symptoms has been shown to be common.
It is therefore important for children and adults to be intentional in their engagement in physical exercise so as not to record a drastic increase in the burden of obesity during or after the pandemic.
Children should not only be allowed to stay with the television or games but should be encouraged to engage in indoor physical exercise.
The COVID-19 restriction has the potential of increasing the burden of obesity that is for families who are economically buoyant but for an average or poor family a watch and projection on strategies to combat the potential increase in the burden of Malnutrition especially in children will be a better option.
The Pictures Speak of Indoor Exercises for children, adults and family.
Abraham Tanimowo is a child development and family studies specialist. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Federal university of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB). He is presently undergoing a postgraduate study in Child and Adolescent Health at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria with the aim of obtaining a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. He also has professional certification in project management as well as in health safety and environment
He is a young, smart and strategic individual with a great passion for public health and family life research with a special focus on the health, education and social well-being of children, adolescents and mothers.