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CDC: Obesity leads to ‘severe’ COVID conditions, hospitalization, and death

Over 73% of COVID patients surveyed who died were either overweight or obese.
Thu Mar 11, 2021 - 1:11 pm EST
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WASHINGTON, March 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that being obese or overweight significantly increases the likelihood of requiring hospitalization and ventilation for COVID-19, frequently leading to death. Over 73% of COVID patients surveyed who died were either overweight or obese.

The CDC analyzed 148,494 adults who were diagnosed to have COVID-19 between March and December 2020. Of that number, “28.3% had overweight [sic] and 50.8% had obesity.”

The risk of hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), and death “increased sharply” among those patients who had “higher BMIs.”

Out of the overall number of people analyzed, there were “71,491 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 (48.1% of all COVID-19 patients), 34,896 (48.8%) required ICU admission, 9,525 (13.3%) required invasive mechanical ventilation, and 8,348 (11.7%) died.”

While a small number of patients was underweight, 28.3% were overweight, and 50.8% were obese. The CDC observed that COVID-19 patients had a higher prevalence of obesity than non-COVID patients, “50.8% versus 43.1%.”

Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more, while being obese is having a BMI of 30 or more. Even just for hospitalization, obese patients were between 1.07 and 1.33 times as likely to require hospital treatment for COVID than patients with a healthy or normal BMI, which is between 18.5 to 24.9.

Once more invasive and serious procedures were required, the risks associated with obesity increased. Obese patients were 1.06 to 1.16 times as likely to be admitted to the ICU than patients with a healthy weight. Furthermore, a need for mechanical ventilation was 1.12 times as likely for overweight patients, and a significant 2.08 times as likely for patients with a BMI of 45 or more.

Compared to healthy weight patients infected with the virus, obese people were 1.08 to 1.61 times as likely to die.

Out of the 8,348 patients who died, 73.3% were either overweight or obese, with the majority (46%) being obese.

While such hospital data is based on a general overview of all ages, the effect being overweight and obese had on COVID patients increased in those under 65 years of age. When compared to similarly aged healthy weight patients, those with a BMI over 45 were 1.59 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 2.01 times more likely to die.

The CDC commented that the study “supports the hypothesis that inflammation from excess adiposity might be a factor in the severity of COVID-19-associated illness.” However, the government agency also added that when factoring in other underlying medical conditions, the results found “weaker associations between BMI and severe COVID-19–associated illness.”

The study recommended promoting a healthy lifestyle and eating pattern in order to reduce the “impaired lung function associated with higher BMI” which increased the risk for requiring mechanical ventilation.

“Hispanic or Latino and non-Hispanic Black adults and persons from low-income households” were all identified as sections of society which were at higher risk from more severe cases of COVID due to their “higher prevalence of obesity.”

While characteristically recommending mask wearing and use of the experimental COVID vaccines, the CDC also urged “community access to nutrition and physical activity opportunities” in order to lessen the effect which obesity would have in tandem with a COVID infection.

The CDC findings support those related by the World Obesity Federation (WOF). In a lengthy report released just this month, the WOF wrote that “countries where less than half the adult population is classified as overweight, the likelihood of death from COVID-19 is a small fraction — around one tenth — of the level seen in countries where more than half the population is classified as overweight.”

Referencing a study of 400,000 people in the U.K. between March 16 and April 26, 2020, the WOF noted how “8.6% of COVID-19 hospitalisations were attributable to inadequate physical activity, and 29.5% attributable to overweight and obesity.” In fact, 11 studies and reviews were mentioned, which were conducted in countries such as the U.S., China, the U.K., Italy, Spain, and France. All found significant risks of more severe symptoms of COVID-19 among overweight or obese people.

One U.S. study performed found that obese people were “more than twice as likely to need hospitalisation and more than six times as likely to need mechanically assisted breathing and more than six times as likely to die following development of COVID-19.”

No country where the average adult BMI was in the healthy bracket has a high COVID mortality rate, wrote the WOF, after examining 160 countries. Troublingly, they found that “COVID-19 mortality rates were more than ten times higher in countries where overweight prevalence exceeds 50% of adults (weighted average 66.8 deaths per 100,000 adults) compared with countries where overweight prevalence is below 50% of adults.”

“Increased bodyweight is the second greatest predictor of hospitalisation and a high risk of death for people suffering from COVID-19,” the WOF stated.

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Writing for U.K./based The Light Paper, pharmacist Charles Spedding supported such findings, and highlighted the importance of healthy eating, commenting, “The real health emergency in the UK is not a coronavirus; it is Metabolic Syndrome.”

Nor are his words to be lightly ignored, since a significant majority of people in the U.K. were shown to be overweight or obese, and the WOF reported that as of 2016, 63.7% of people were overweight (BMI of 25 or more), and 27.8% of people were obese. Similar numbers were documented for the U.S.A, with 67.9% of people listed as overweight and 36.2% of people deemed obese.

The report also found “insufficient physical activity” among 40% of people in the United States.

Meanwhile, CDC data from 2019 stated that more than 20% of adults in every state were obese, with 12 states counting more than 35% of adults as obese.


  cdc, covid-19, obesity

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