A recent research based on global data has shown that people with obesity have higher chances of contracting the coronavirus.
Obesity reduces the effectiveness of vaccines against the disease and increases the vulnerability of a person. Global experts warned that the risks for people with obesity are higher than previously anticipated.
Governments which include the UK have been put under pressure because of the study as they now have to take serious measures to fight obesity.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been leading the drive to lower obesity in the UK. According to statistics the UK and the US have some of the highest obesity rates in the world.
The study which was commissioned by the World Bank found that people with obesity, with a BMI over 30 are most vulnerable. They also have a higher risk of death if they are infected by the coronavirus.
A leader of the study, Prof Barry Popkin, of the department of nutrition at the UNC Gillings Global School of Public Health, said: “That’s a pretty big effect, for me. That’s a pretty high scary number. All of it is actually – much higher than I ever expected.”
Experts say obesity can give rise to metabolic changes, such as insulin resistance and inflammation which makes it difficult for the body to fight off infections.
The co-author Prof Melinda Beck said: “All of these factors can influence immune cell metabolism, which determines how bodies respond to pathogens, like the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus.
“Individuals with obesity are also more likely to experience physical ailments that make fighting this disease harder, such as sleep apnoea, which increases pulmonary hypertension, or a body mass index that increases difficulties in a hospital setting with intubation.”
Most people around the globe have been under pressure due to loss of income and hardships prompted by the coronavirus, which is also increasing the risk of people becoming obese.
As world governments fight the coronavirus pandemic, they should also come up with effective measures to reduce weight in their countries.