Scientists at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, part of Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom, say that obesity is related to COVID-19.
They have given evidence that obese people are more likely to face severe illness if contracted with COVID-19.
A study showed that with other factors such as age, race or sex, overweight is a major cause of severe cases for coronavirus.
Being overweight increased the risk of death by 44% while obesity increased it to 97%.
“It is now clear that the food industry shares the blame not only for the obesity pandemic. But also for the severity of COVID-19 disease and its devastating consequences,” wrote Ph.D. researcher Monique Tan, and professors Feng J. He, and Graham A. MacGregor in the editorial.
Obesity is a very common problem worldwide. According to World Health Organization (WHO) more than 1/7 people in the world were obese. In 2016, 1.9 billion out of 7.4 billion were overweight.
Latest figures from US and UK are alarming too. Around 64% adults in UK and 72% in US are victims of obesity.
Obesity can cause many other diseases such as high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
The scientists said that different mechanisms are cause of severity of COVID-19 in overweight people. For example, obese people have more angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2).(the membrane-bound enzyme that is used by virus to enter the cells.)
This is not clear that it happens whether due to fat cells which produce more enzymes or they have more adipose or fat storage tissue.
“The adipose tissue of people with obesity may, therefore, be a potential target and viral reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 before it spreads to other organs, as has proved to be the case for other viruses,” the scientists wrote.
Diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels etc. which are associated with obesity are also a serious problem for coronavirus patients.
Above all these, fatness makes a lot of resistance within the internal organs of the body, not allowing the lungs to expand thus reduces lung functioning.
Call for Action:
Researchers said that there is a dire need to stop this problem before it becomes uncontrollable. They say that authorities must stop food companies from selling and advertise unhealthy foods.
Krispy Kreme’s Serving Smiles initiative in the U.K, distributed half million doughnuts to “the amazing heroes” working for “COVID-19”. These unhealthy foods can make the viral effects even worse.
Authors say that government institutes have not taken enough measures to stop obesity. The consequences can be very threatening and would have severe impact on the society in near future.