Obesity May Increase Your Risk for Severe Illness from COVID-19

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Problems with Breathing

People with obesity may be more likely to experience compromised lung function

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People younger than 60 with obesity have shown to be 2x more likely to be admitted to the hospital due to illness from COVID-19

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Narrowing of the airway

Obesity is associated with narrowing of the airway which could increase the need for ventilation

If you have COVID-19, all of these factors can contribute to concerning outcomes for adults with a BMI of 30 or greater:

3x more likely icon

more likely to be admitted to the hospital due to a COVID-19 infection

2x more likely icon

more likely to experience respiratory failure

If you're interested in more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, talk to your health care provider.

For many people who carry excess weight, losing 5%-15% of your total weight can improve some weight-related conditions, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and more. It's important to make a weight management plan to help get you started.

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Partner with a health care provider to keep weight off and reduce the risk of severe illness from COVID-19

Losing excess weight and maintaining it is hard because of how your body responds to weight loss. After weight loss, the body’s metabolism slows down and appetite hormones change—making you feel more hungry and less full. Healthy eating and physical activity are important, but they may not be enough. Work with your health care provider to find ways to overcome your body's response to weight loss. Together, you can develop a weight-management plan that works for you.


Why is it so hard to keep the pounds off? Well, there’s more to weight management than meets the eye. People may see results when they limit calories, by reducing the size of meals, for example. And find ways to increase physical activity, like taking regular walks around the block. But the body reacts to weight loss by trying to regain weight, making weight management a constant tug-of-war. Metabolism slows down and gets more efficient, requiring fewer calories to do its job. Hormonal signals can also change. The body increases a hunger hormone, called the ghrelin hormone, which tries to get you to eat more calories. And the hormones that tell the brain it's time to stop eating, the “feeling full” signals, decrease. These are just some of the factors that make weight regain so common.

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