03 Covid Obesity
Why losing weight might protect you from Covid-19
02:13 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

In the holiday season, when the average American can easily pack on a few pounds, experts say there is another reason to pay attention to your weight: Covid-19.

People who are overweight or obese are at a much higher risk of much more severe disease and even death from Covid-19, and one new study suggests that losing weight can reduce that risk.

The obesity epidemic has been a threat to Americans’ health for years. It’s the second leading cause of preventable death, after smoking. With Covid-19, it becomes even more dangerous. One study found that 30% of Covid-19 hospitalizations were in people with obesity.

The obesity clinic where Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford works in Boston has a 1,000-plus person wait list that grew a lot longer with the pandemic. Even with more than a dozen specialists on staff, it’s not enough to meet the demand.

“We are overwhelmed with the volume of patients that have really made that connection between obesity and Covid and the need for them to get appropriate care,” said Cody Stanford, who is also an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

Obesity and the increased risk of Covid-19

People with obesity are 46% more at risk of getting Covid-19, according to a study from August. It found that they are also more at risk of getting really sick, facing a 113% higher chance of being hospitalized, a 74% higher risk of needing to be treated in the ICU and – perhaps most troubling of all – a 48% increased risk of death.