As our experience grows, information and guidance about SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are emerging rapidly. We are likely all aware that the clinical effects of this respiratory disease are particularly severe in certain populations, including seniors, people with pre-existing respiratory and cardiac disease, and those with compromised immune systems and obesity.

Woman holding her belly in pain

People with obesity have a higher likelihood of being in each of these categories and should therefore be considered at increased risk for severe disease. This is particularly true for people with moderate to severe obesity, whose compromised physiological state and burden of complications are generally higher.

In addition, for people with severe obesity, management of severe COVID-19 may also be compromised by challenges in diagnosis and treatment caused by the physical effects of their obesity.

LEARN MORE: What Is The Orbera Weight Loss Balloon?

What should someone with obesity do?

girls holding obesity banner and donuts

People with obesity should take extra care to avoid getting sick and continuously build their immune system with a whole foods based diet, lots of water, and vitamins.

In addition, exercising and, separately, losing even a little weight can improve the metabolic health of a person with obesity, and, in doing so, reduce their chances of developing severe COVID-19 if they become infected. If you’re 300 pounds, even losing a modest amount is likely to have a disproportionate benefit on how well you do with coronavirus infection. Getting all your body’s natural systems a go is what you’re looking to do.

The Rise in Obesity Rates During Pandemic: APA Survey 

The pandemic has caused a dramatic increase in obesity rates throughout the United States. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) in March 2021 found that 42% of Americans reported gaining more weight than they intended during the pandemic, with an average gain of 30 pounds. Studies have also shown that obesity rates in 5 to 11 year olds have risen from 36% to 45%. Currently, 16 states have obesity rates of at least 35% or higher. 

The primary causes of this weight gain can be attributed to lifestyle changes brought on by the pandemic, such as increased consumption of comfort foods and limited access to physical activity. This lack of physical activity is of particular concern, as it can lead to further health complications.

Overall, the pandemic has caused an increase in health risks, particularly concerning the issue of obesity. We must remain mindful of our health and nutrition, and strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout this difficult period. It is important to remember that physical activity, a balanced diet, and overall healthy habits can help to prevent the risk of obesity. With dedication and mindful daily choices, we can all work together to combat the effects of the pandemic on our health.

We have 3 locations in the Kansas City area

Independence – Near Centerpoint Hospital: 19101 B Valley View Parkway, Independence, MO 64055 – Directly across the street from Costco
Lee’s Summit – Lee’s Summit Medical Center: 2100 SE Blue Pkwy, Suite 120, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
Kansas City – St. Joseph Medical Center: 1000 Carondelet Drive, Suite 203B, Kansas City, MO 64114

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