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Cogent Medicine ; 8, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1617068


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the lives of children and adolescents by invading their families, peer groups and school, worsening their prospects and causing anxiety about the future. Due to the threat of COVDI-19, restrictions were imposed worldwide, forcing changes in daily life, social interactions, education and work. There is no doubt that these strict restrictions have contributed immensely to reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 virus spread, but at the same time had significantly affected the health of young people in all its dimensions. The main aim of this study is to present changes in health and health behaviours between 2018 and 2021. Method: Data from the Youth and COVID-19 survey conducted in the first quarter of 2021 by the Institute of Mother and Child in Warsaw among adolescents aged 11-17 years (n=1571) as well as data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) according to the 2018 survey conducted in the same age groups (n=7701) were analysed. So were analysed indicators of physical development, mental health, subjective complaints and health behaviour. The prevalence of the aforementioned indicators was compared between 2018 and 2021, overall, by gender and age using chi2 test. Results: A significant increase was observed in the percentage of overweight and obese adolescents (according to WHO criteria) evident in the older age groups (15 and 17 years) and the percentage of underweight boys;an increase in the percentage of adolescents negatively assessing their health and well-being (according to the WHO5 scale-score indicating depressive symptoms) in each age group and both genders;frequently experiencing physical and mental health problems-in both genders such as headache, stomach ache, backache, feeling depressed, nervousness, difficulty in falling asleep and dizziness;only in girls-tiredness;in older adolescents-headache, stomach ache, backache, feeling depressed, irritability, nervousness, difficulty in falling asleep and dizziness;in each age group-feeling depressed;only in the youngest-tiredness. There was a significant decrease in the percentage of adolescents undertaking moderate-to-intensive physical activity at the recommended level of 60 minutes per day in both genders and each age group. However, there were positive changes in dietary behaviour: an increase in the percentage of adolescents eating daily with family in each age group, eating vegetables daily in both sexes and each age group, and a decrease in the percentage of adolescents frequently drinking sugary drinks in both sexes and each age group. Furthermore, no change was observed in the rate of frequent consumption of fruit and vegetables. Conclusion: The adverse effects of the pandemic on health and well-being are progressing rapidly, so urgent action is needed to help mitigate the severe effects of the pandemic and safeguard the future of young people.