Location: Children's Nutrition Research CenterTitle: Challenges in feeding children posed by the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review of changes in dietary intake combined with a dietitian's perspective
|CAMPBELL, HEATHER - Glory Nutrition|
|WOOD, ALEXIS - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)|
Submitted to: Current Nutrition Reports
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2021
Publication Date: 5/15/2021
Citation: Campbell, H., Wood, A.C. 2021. Challenges in feeding children posed by the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review of changes in dietary intake combined with a dietitian's perspective. Current Nutrition Reports. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-021-00359-z.
Technical Abstract: The purpose of this review was to examine the evidence that the dietary quality of children changed between the period preceding the COVID-19 pandemic and the first year during the pandemic. A systematic review of the evidence for dietary changes occurring as a result of the pandemic-related restrictions, in Part I of this article, yielded 38 original research articles. These articles had conflicting results, some describing improvements in overall quality and some describing deteriorations. As a whole the studies were characterized by a low study quality, and children were poorly represented. Taken together, these studies do not provide enough evidence to draw conclusions about whether dietary habits changed or not as a result of the pandemic. However, in a wider, narrative review of the psychosocial changes occurring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the known associations of these factors with a dietary intake in Part II, we conclude that there is a reason to expect that the dietary quality of children might have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, the literature fails to provide conclusive evidence on changes in the dietary quality of children resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, the broader literature supports the hypothesis that children's dietary quality will have declined during the pandemic. Taken together, we urgently need more high-quality research on children's changes in dietary intake occurring over the pandemic. This will provide important information on whether any potential long-term consequences of such changes, if they exist, need to be examined and ameliorated.