The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and subsequent containment measures are causing an increase in food insecurity (FI) worldwide, with direct consequences on children's nutrition . We aimed to investigate the effects of the lockdown imposed in Italy on FI and changes in eating habits and body weight in the pediatric population 6 months after the beginning of the pandemic through a cross-sectional online survey proposed to parents of children <18 and living in Italy. Among 5811 respondents, most of whom were Italian, living in Northern Italy, and with a wealthy household economy, 8.3% reported that their families were at risk of FI before the appearance of SARS-CoV-2 and, alarmingly, this percentage increased to 16.2% after the pandemic began, with households from Southern Italy being more at risk . Moreover , 27.3% of the parents reported that their children were eating more; an increase in `` junk food"consumption was also found; 31.8% of the respondents declared an increase in children's weight; weight loss prevailed among adolescents . Since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is again requiring restrictions, our findings might serve as a warning to politicians to promote healthy lifestyles and provide assistance to the groups in need.
Index: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, body weight, children, food insecurity, junk food, lockdown, pediatric