Covid-19 and Obesity

The Covid-19 epidemic has affected a few of my friends in the last month or so with deadly consequences. This is a virus that we must take serious or we may find ourselves paying a price we are not prepared to pay.

The price of our life!

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we have always put out a message of how important it is to be proactive about our health rather than to be reactive when we are either sick or injured. Just as we do preventive maintenance with our homes and vehicles to keep our investments in proper working order, we must do the same with our bodies. Sadly, a great many people are not proactive, and only once their health is in jeopardy do they become temporarily concerned about getting their life in order. We all know of someone who is like this, or it could even be ourselves who are guilty of this malfeasance to our own well being.

I can say I have known more than a few people who lived unhealthy lifestyles that all of a sudden became all serious about changing their ways as they were literally about to die. They have doctors jumping through hoops trying to save them, as they promise to do better if they live through their crisis. And then, once they are well again, they returned to their old unhealthy habits, all the while bitching about the sky high cost of health care…

Everywhere we look, we will see people wearing masks to protect themselves and others from the Covid-19 virus. Some are doing this because they truly care, and some simply because it is mandated where they live. It has also become common on social media to see people being verbally assaulted for not wearing a mask in public. The great irony of this is when you see the one who is doing the verbal harassment, clearly in some cases, is not a picture of health themselves. They appear to only be concerned about Covid-19 and not what their bag of cookies is also going to do to their health.

 At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we promote a lifestyle that is proactive for our health through nutritionally sound dietary practices combined with regular exercise as a lifestyle!

While living a fit, trim and healthy lifestyle does not always prevent us from becoming ill, it does lesson the chances we will suffer as badly as we could since our immune systems are pretty strong. It is only common sense that the stronger your immune system is, the less sick you will be throughout your life. There are many bad consequences in allowing ourselves to become obese, and Covid-19 has now provided another consequence to the list.

From WebMD

 If you’re younger than 65 years old and obese, COVID-19 poses a special danger to you. A new study reports that the more obese you are, the more likely you are to either die from infection with the new coronavirus or require lifesaving mechanical ventilation to survive.

       Morbidly obese COVID-19 patients are 60% more likely to die or require intubation, compared with people of normal weight, researchers found.

 Patients who were mildly obese were 10% more likely to die or need a breathing machine, while those who were moderately obese were 30% more likely, according to the study.

       “Increasing obesity was associated with an increased risk of lung failure or death in COVID-19,” said lead researcher Dr. Michaela Anderson, a pulmonologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City.

“At the beginning of the pandemic in New York, we noticed there were a lot of young and obese people who required breathing tubes to help them breathe,” Anderson said.

About 25% of the patients died and 22% required mechanical ventilation.

How being obese impacts those with Covid-19

We know that with Covid-19 people quite often find themselves in respiratory distress which can, and does lead to their demise. It is a simple truth that if you have a big, obese belly, it will complicate matters by pushing up on your lungs which makes make it harder for you to expand your lungs when taking a breath. If you watch an obese person tie their shoes, you will most often see them bring their foot up by crossing their leg to tie it rather than bending over to do so because it is hard to breath when bending over.

How do I know this?

Because I have had my own issue with being obese in the past.

The problem with being obese goes much deeper than just an issue with appearances. Fat tissue doesn’t just sit there and store fat. It also does lots of other things that can influence our health by contributing to other illnesses associated with obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, which contribute to COVID-19’s impact on the body

It’s not surprising that the pandemic is hitting the southeast and rural communities particularly hard, because so many people in these areas suffer from obesity and the other medical conditions that can make COVID-19 severe, said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“What’s also clear is that we must allocate increased resources to populations in rural communities, which have a disproportionately larger percentage of chronic medical conditions. These communities are at higher risk for adverse outcomes and death from COVID-19 as transmission rates continue to increase,” Glatter added.

The CDC team acknowledged that in its report. “Health care in rural counties is often under-resourced, and rural communities might have limited access to adequate care, which could further increase risk for poor COVID-19-associated outcomes,” the study authors stressed. (1)

Again, when you are obese, you are making inflammatory chemicals. Those inflammatory chemicals may very well trigger or be associated with cytokine storm or the other inflammatory responses which are seen in Covid-19, including blood clotting. And let’s not forget the other part of the equation in that you can’t fully inflate your lungs when you’re obese. Once you have Covid-19, it is too late to think about losing weight, this is something you should have done before ever getting sick in the first place. If you want to lower the severity of Covid-19, or any other ailment, it is incumbent upon you to live a healthy lifestyle that is proactive rather than reactive.  When you live a reactive lifestyle, you only succeed in stacking the deck against yourself. Do yourself a favor, and never sell yourself short by cheating yourself out of a healthy life.


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