DataSheet_1_Nationwide Trends of Pediatric Obesity and BMI z-Score From 2017-2021 in China: Comparable Findings From Real-World Mobile- and Hospital-Based Data.docx
Lifestyle changes including COVID-19 lockdown cause weight gain and may change obesity trends; however, timely changes are largely unknown and monitoring measures are usually lack. This first large-scale study aimed to analyze the real-world national trends of obesity prevalence of Chinese children in the past five years, and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric obesity development through both mobile- and hospital-based data.Methods
This study included children aged 3 to 19 years old all over China from January 2017 to April 2021. Hospital-measured and parent-reported cases from XIGAO database were analyzed. Body mass index (BMI) z-score calculation and obesity status evaluation were made according to Chinese standards. We evaluated obesity/overweight prevalence over the past five years and the changes of BMI z-score during COVID-19 lockdown.Results
A total of 656396 children from 31 provinces were involved, including 447481 hospital-measured cases and 208915 parent-reported cases. The obesity and overweight prevalence were 8.05% (95%CI 7.76%–8.39%) and 10.06% (95%CI 10.79%–11.55%), comparable to those of China National Nutrition Surveys during 2015–2019. Northern China had the highest obesity prevalence. Parent-reported data had higher obesity/overweight prevalence than hospital-measured data (18.3% [95%CI 17.7%–18.9%] vs. 21.7% [95%CI 20.7%–23.0%]). The trend of obesity prevalence remained stable with slight decrease, but COVID-19 lockdown caused a significant increase of 1.86% in 2020. Both mobile- and hospital-based data showed weight gain in the first half of 2020. High BMI z-score increase were found among primary and junior middle school children, and children in northeast area during lockdown.Conclusion
Weight gain during COVID-19 among Chinese children had regional differences and mainly affect primary and junior middle school children, thus warrants targeted interventions. The mobile growth assessment based on parent-reported data was a feasible, efficient and timely way for obesity monitoring among Chinese children, especially during epidemic.