Obesity – A rising COVID-19 risk factor

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

26th Jul, 2020. 11:39 am

The Public Health of England has declared obesity as a catalyst that increases the risk of the novel coronavirus infection.

According to the details, people who are obese or overweight are at increased risk of death or severe illness from COVID-19.

A recent report by Public Health of England hit headlines and sparked concerns among people, who are currently suffering from obesity.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to tackle obesity and has himself lost weight since he was admitted to intensive care with COVID-19.

According to the report, data showed that for people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-35, risk of death from COVID-19 increased by 40%, and it increased by 90% for those with a BMI over 40 compared to those of a healthy weight.

People with a BMI of over 30 are classed as obese under the system. PHE said that almost 63% of adults in England are overweight or obese.

Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said “The current evidence is clear that being overweight or obese puts you at greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19, as well as from many other life-threatening diseases.”

On Friday, Johnson said people should lose weight, with reports that government restrictions on advertising unhealthy foods could come next week.

An estimated 1.7 billion people – more than 20 percent of the world’s population – risk becoming severely infected with COVID-19 due to underlying health problems such as obesity and heart disease.

Small island states such as Fiji and Mauritius have among the highest rates of diabetes – a known COVID-19 risk factor.

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