Coronavirus has led to worldwide research efforts to identify people at greater risk of developing critical illness and death. There is one health condition which significantly raises a person’s risk of death from COVID-19. What is it and how to overcome it?
Obesity is an increasing problem not only in the USA.
Obesity rates among adults in the UK have almost quadrupled in the last 25 years and now around one in four falls into the obese category.
In fact, over 60 percent of adults are classed as overweight or obese, leaving only 40 percent of women and 33 percent of UK men.
Obesity has a high risk of consequences with conditions that can often be overlooked for a number of years before the realisation hits.
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In a study published in BMJ, obesity and its increased risk for COVID-19 fatalities was investigated.
The study noted: “Increasing evidence indicates that obesity is an independent risk factor for severe illness and death from covid-19.
“In the UK, a population cohort study (428 225 participants; 340 admitted to hospital with confirmed covid-19, four percent of whom were overweight and 34 percent obese) and using linked electronic health records have shown a dose-response relation between excess weight and severity of covid-19.
“Similarly, in the study, after all other risk factors (including comorbidities) were fully adjusted for, the risk of dying from covid-19 increased with obesity severity, from a 27 percent higher risk in the first obesity to more than doubling of the risk in the most obese category.
“Smaller studies from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and the US have confirmed these findings.”
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In another study published in AHA Journals it was said: “Obese individuals may exhibit greater viral shedding, suggesting potential for great viral exposure, especially if several family members are overweight.
“This may be aggravated in overcrowded multigenerational households, which are more common in the socioeconomically deprived communities in which obesity is prevalent.
“All these observations point toward a potential for obesity to give rise to a more adverse virus versus host immune response relationship in COVID-19.
“Poorer nutritional status and hyperglycaemia may further aggravate the situation in some obese individuals.”
Dr Aseem Malhotra spoke on Good Morning Britain and said: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a few weeks ago did an analysis and they put out the message that there is likely a tenfold increased risk of mortality death rates from people who have conditions associated with obesity.
“This basically includes type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease and this is really a real problem because it’s not being addressed, and it’s not being tackled head on.
“The reasons for this are two-fold the one being an excess of body fat which seems to have an adverse effect on viral illnesses.
“We know that already with the flu you’re more likely to get severe illness if you are overweight but with COVID-19 it seems to also drive an excessive immune response called the ARDS or the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome that unfortunately causes many people to die.
How to combat obesity
As a family, it’s highly recommended to change eating habits and to encourage one another to opt for healthier food choices.
Eating together as a family and not in front of the television promotes healthier eating.
Overeating can often happen if a person eats when they are not hungry.
To combat this, drinking plenty of water has been proven to help keep hunger pangs at bay.
Finding an exercise that you enjoy and are able to exert yourself for at least 150 minutes a week will make a difference in the quest to combating obesity.