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When a new coronavirus was discovered to be causing pneumonia-like sickness in Wuhan, China, researchers and medical experts from all over the world began their quest to gather information about the virus, how it affects the body, and what the best ways are to save and survive it.

Elderly people with existing health conditions, pregnant women, children below the age of 10-years, smokers, etc. were put in the high-risk category. Later, various studies also indicated that men are more likely to be affected by the virus than women.

Recent studies have listed obesity as a risk factor!

How Does Obesity Increase Risk of Serious illness in Covid Patients?

Excess body weight is not only the factor of one but multiple health conditions. It complicates the functioning of the heart and lungs, increases the chances of one being a diabetic, and reduces immunity at the same time.

Recent studies suggest it may also make people more ill with Covid-19, but why is this the case?

Obese patients usually suffer from various chronic conditions and all these are linked to poor outcomes in COVID-19 patients. This is why countries are seeing more hospitalization and ICU admissions of their obese patients. A recent UK research showed almost three-quarters of patients admitted to intensive care were obese or overweight.

A China-based study showing data from 112 patients reported overweight and obesity were almost “five-times more prevalent in patients with COVID-19 who died (88%) compared to those who survived (19%).”

How to Stay Safe from COVID-19 If You are Obese?

The best way is to stay in self-isolation when recommended. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, and exercise regularly.

Wash your hands often. Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth, or anything else with unwashed hands and stay six feet away from others when outside.

Respiratory droplets produced by sneezing or coughs easily pass from one person to another. So, make sure you maintain social distancing rules.

Aim for daily physical activity. You might start a daily workout routine and begin eating healthier foods, such as plant-based foods, fruits, veggies, etc. Adding protein powder to your diet will be a great help.

Those with severe obesity (40+ BMI) should be more careful during this pandemic situation, because their high BMI may put them at higher risk for complications from COVID-19. They should continue their medications for any underlying health conditions as prescribed.

Is this Pandemic Contributing to Increased Obesity Rates?

This pandemic has negatively impacted diet, sleep, and physical activity among a large section of the global population. Lockdowns have an impact on mobility and enforced physical inactivity, causing an increased risk of metabolic diseases.

COVID crisis is prompting many to rely on processed food with longer shelf life and canned food that usually comes with higher quantities of sodium. We might see an increase in weight if it persists for a longer period of time.

It has added to the plight of those already obese with collateral effects extending beyond direct viral infection.

In addition to that the current pandemic might have interventions in weight loss programs, such as surgery is being severely curtailed at present. And that may continue for a long period of time.