Photo: Ben Margot / Associated Press
Americans’ dependence on fatty junk food and heaped portions of food, disparities in access to healthy food and sitting for hours have made us particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
The United States has more obese people – about 40% of the total population – than any other large country, and obesity is linked to preventable chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. 2. Any of these conditions can lead to a more serious result of COVID-19.
A recent analysis of hospital network data revealed that 48% of patients treated for the disease were obese.
The COVID-NET report, published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, examined 1,482 patients in 99 counties across the country, including the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco, California. Data were collected between March 1 and March 31.
Data showed that 9 out of 10 patients had an underlying medical condition, including:
– Chronic lung disease: 34.6%
– Cardiovascular disease: 27.8%
– Obesity: 48.3%
Although the report does not confirm obesity as an independent risk factor, when it occurs in conjunction with an underlying medical condition, it can worsen the severity of COVID-19.
For patients aged 18 to 49, obesity was the most common underlying condition, the study found. Almost 60% of those hospitalized were obese.
The CDC defines an obese person as a person with a body mass index of 30 kg / m2 or more, for example, a man 6 feet tall who weighs 217 pounds. (Exception: muscular physique can have a high BMI without being obese or even overweight.)
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Mike Moffitt is an SFGATE digital reporter. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Mike_at_SFGate