Obesity ‘second biggest predictor’ of hospitalization for COVID-19, report says
(NEXSTAR) – Obese people may be at higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19, new report says report published by the World Obesity Federation.
The report links obesity to a range of health complications linked to COVID-19. He found that increased body weight “is the second biggest predictor of hospitalization and a high risk of death for people with COVID-19.”
Only age is considered a higher risk factor.
The report also found that in countries with higher obesity rates, COVID-19 rates tend to increase.
“We show that in countries where overweight affects only a minority of the adult population, death rates from COVID-19 are generally less than a tenth of the levels seen in countries where overweight affects the majority of adults “, says the report. .
He also found that the “drivers” of obesity, including the consumption of high levels of processed foods, “are associated with mortality from COVID-19” because a diet low in essential nutrients can weaken defenses. of the immune system.
Of the 2.5 million deaths from COVID at the end of February 2021, the report says 2.2 million were in countries where more than half of the population is classified as overweight.
The report relied on peer-reviewed data analyzes, but acknowledged that its “numbers are necessarily incomplete.”
“A clearer picture may emerge as the pandemic develops,” the report says.
The study further links obesity to other respiratory viral infections, including influenza and MERS, both of which “show worse outcomes from excess body weight”.
“An overweight population is an unhealthy population,” the report read, “and a pandemic that’s waiting to happen. ”
The World Obesity Federation – a conglomerate of scientists, doctors and researchers from more than 50 regional and national associations against obesity – concludes by urging governments and health service providers to increase monitoring and surveillance of obesity and to develop “systems approaches” for obesity prevention and treatment.