Obesity and coronavirus whats the link? – The Sun

Posted: May 15, 2020 at 7:44 pm

OBESITY is known to double a patient's chances of being hospitalised by coronavirus, making them a large part of the 1.5 million Brits that are classed as high risk by the NHS.

Boris Johnson has said he is stepping up the nation's fight against obesity to help us bat off Covid-19, but what is the link? Here's everything we know.

Obesity has been found to be one of the biggest risk factors leading to hospitalisation for those with coronavirus.

Most adults with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 are considered obese, according to the NHS, but waist size is usually a better and easier thing to measure when it comes to excess fat.

Data from the Health Survey for England conducted in 2018 found that a third of all adults in the UK are obese, and in the US the 42.4 per cent of the population that is obese has caused the coronavirus projections to be comparable to the Spanish flu of 1918.

Being overweight or obese can weaken the bodys immune system which could make people more likely to catch coronavirus and makes it harder for the body to fight the bug.

Figures released May 14 showed that one quarter of all coronavirus fatalities in hospitals in England have been of patients with diabetes.

A previous analysis of 15,100 hospitalised coronavirus patients from 177 UK hospitals showed that excess fat around the internal organs adds to the "cytokine storm" caused by Covid-19, where the body releases too many proteins in an effort to fight off the virus.

The NHS has previously said people with a BMI of 40 or above have a greater risk of developing complications if they catch the virus.

More than 60 per cent of patients in intensive care with the virus were overweight or classed as morbidly obese, arecent NHS survey found.

In the past, studies have shown overweight and obese people are at greater risk of serious complications or death from infections, like flu.

The extra weight creates problems with breathing, clogs up your arteries and makes you a practical nightmare for doctors to shift, scan and operate on, according to the World Obesity Federation."In general health systems are already not well set up to manage patients with obesity and the current crisis will expose their limitations even more," the website said.

Boris Johnson, 55, has been seen out jogging a lot more since going toe to toe with coronavirus in April to reduce his clinically obese BMI.

The Prime Minister, told his ministers Ive changed my mind on the 2018 "sin taxes" to stop people buying sugary drinks that he was previously against.

He is reported to have said during discussions, its all right for you thinnies, and to think the current focus on public health presents an opportunity to get Britain on its bike.

It was also reported in May that Johnsons advice when asked how to beat off coronavirus was: Dont be a fatty in your fifties.


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The NHS and WHO has said obesity is one of the health conditions that may increase your risk of suffering complications from coronavirus.

This has since been backed by further research as the numbers of coronavirus patients have grown.

But most overweight or obese people are not considered extremely vulnerable to coronavirus unless they are also pregnant or have another health high risk conditionwhich includes people who have:

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No, unless you have coronavirus symptoms, or are one of the million or so Brits who have been asked to shield for 12 weeks, you dont need to self-isolate.

If you develop coronavirus symptoms you should follow the same advice for everyone else and stay home for seven days.

Unless you have another underlying health condition on the extremely vulnerable list, outlined above, you dont need to shield and you wont receive a letter from the NHS.

Instead, like all Brits you should follow the governments advice to stay at home, social distance and go for a walk or do some exercise as much as possible.

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Obesity and coronavirus whats the link? - The Sun

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