PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Pediatricians say they're seeing more kids struggling with weight gain and mental health because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Lisa Denike, the Chief of Pediatrics for Kaiser Permanente Northwest, told FOX 12 that pediatricians noticed the trend in significant weight gain as more kids have been coming in for their annual physicals.
Dr. Denike says it could come from a lack of exercise, an increase in stress, or unhealth eating habits.
This new trend is reversing recent improvements in childhood obesity rates, according to Dr. Denike.
Along with physical health, Dr. Denike says children's mental health is also being impacted, saying doctors are seeing a rise in mental health issues among children and teens - ranging from sadness and stress to anxiety and depression.
"This is a really challenging time for everyone. We all have to give each other a little bit of grace. While at the same time trying to keep ourselves, our communities, our children and each other healthy. And it really is about taking the time to think how to do that and take care of each other," Dr. Denike said. "Because again we're role models for our children. They're watching us, they learn from what we do, not just what we say."
Dr. Denike's advice to parents is to make sure you and your kids are all getting enough sleep, have an eating schedule in place, drink enough water, and make time for physical activity.
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