Since early in the pandemic, health experts have warned that those suffering from severe obesity — a body mass index of over 40 — are at an increased risk of severe coronavirus infection and death. Now, the CDC is claiming that even those who are moderately obese have a greater chance of severe illness.
This week the CDC updated their guidance, adding that those with a BMI between 30 and 40 are “at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.” They also added that those who are overweight, defined by a BMI between 25 and 30, “might be at an increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.” Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Minorities Are More Prone to Serious Infections
According to the CDC, over 71 percent of Americans over 20 are overweight, obese, or severely obese, while nearly 40% are considered at least mildly obese.
On another page, explains that “Obesity is a common, serious, and costly chronic disease,” adding that it is one of the reasons minorities are more prone to serious infections than White people.
“Having obesity puts people at risk for many other serious chronic diseases and increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in turning the tide against obesity and its disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minority groups.”
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How to Stay Safe
The CDC recommends that those who fall into this category take extra precautions. In addition to following the prevention methods outlined on their website — which include mask wearing, social distancing, practicing hand hygiene, and avoiding crowded indoor spaces — they also suggest continuing to treat the preexisting condition.
“Take your prescription medicines for overweight, obesity or severe obesity exactly as prescribed,” they suggest. “Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for nutrition and physical activity, while maintaining social distancing precautions. Call your healthcare provider if you have concerns or feel sick.”
Researchers are still attempting to learn just how much riskier the virus is for those suffering from obesity. According to one meta-analysis of data involving 399,000 COVID-19 patients, published on 26 August in Obesity Reviews, people with obesity who contracted the virus were 113% more likely to end up in the hospital than those of a healthy weight, 74% more likely to be admitted to an ICU, and 48% more likely to die. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.