Obesity is a serious disease. Being overweight increases a person’s chances of developing diabetes, hypertension – which leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease – increased fat in the liver and cirrhosis, orthopedic diseases, and cancers, among many other problems.

As if all that were not enough, now COVID-19 has appeared, and it can evolve more seriously in individuals with obesity.

Recent epidemiological data from the USA states that about 25% of deaths from COVID-19 were in obese patients. Obesity is probably the main risk factor for death among younger people.

Why can being overweight be fatal in a COVID-19 infection?

  • Excess abdominal fat, in the chest and neck, leads to greater resistance to the entry and exit of air from the lungs, and when these organs are infected and inflamed, the patient can quickly progress to severe respiratory failure. Unfortunately, these patients do not usually respond well to mechanical ventilation
  • Obese people are at increased risk of pulmonary thromboembolism during COVID-19 infection, which interrupts blood flow in part of the lungs
  • As mentioned before, obese people also usually have high blood pressure and diabetes, which are diseases already recognized for generating a greater risk for complicating the infection
  • Fat cells produce inflammatory substances similar to cells of the immune system, causing an overreaction of the body against infection by COVID- 19. This “inflammatory storm” ends up violently attacking the body itself, resulting in very serious damage to the lungs and probably also to the nervous, digestive and cardiovascular systems.

Therefore, it is important that, in this quarantine, if you have to lose weight, do not lose focus or motivation! Get help, don’t give up, as it can make all the difference in your life!

by Paulo Gustavo Ribeiro