Obese people more prone to COVID-19: Follow these 5 weight loss tips to reduce your risk and stay fit & |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- Obesity is a major risk factor for various health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, etc
- Health experts have found that being obese or overweight makes you vulnerable to developing COVID-19 and dying from it
- Take these few steps to prevent weight gain and reduce your risk of diseases and lead a healthier life
New Delhi: Health experts have warned that people who are overweight or obese are more vulnerable to contracting novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and dying from COVID-19, the disease caused by it. According to a report, doctors at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals found that 70 per cent of around 1,000 COVID-19 patients involved in a study were overweight and obese. Obesity can increase the risk of several chronic health conditions, including kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease and certain cancers. If you think you’re overweight, it’s important to take steps to lose weight and reduce your risk. Fortunately, there are many ways that can boost your weight loss naturally, helping you win your battle with the scale in a safe manner.
A number of studies have shown that obesity-related conditions seem to worsen the effect of coronavirus disease. The study done by the Apollo Hospitals has shown that obese people are at a higher risk of developing serious complications and even death from COVID-19. Experts are now suggesting that obesity be included in the list of vulnerable groups.
How being obese puts you at risk for COVID-19
Obesity has become a major problem worldwide with some studies indicating that it will progress by 40 per cent in the next decade. Perhaps, experts have warned that lockdown and other measures taken to curb the pandemic can exacerbate obesity rates.
According to Dr Arun Prasad, senior gastrointestinal and bariatric surgeon at the hospital, the experts looked at the body mass index (BMI) of some 812 patients who were either discharged or died to due to coronavirus disese over the past few months. They found that 70 per cent these individuals were overweight or obese, reported TOI. The doctor added that among those who succumbed to COVID-19, 82 per cent of them were overweight obese.
Dr Rajesh Chawla, pulmonologist and critical care specialist at the hospital added managing obese patients with complications due to COVID-19 was a challenging task with some of them requiring ventilator support. He said the length of ICU stay and the duration of mechanical ventilation are also always longer in these patients.
Experts have revealed that obese people have lower oxygenation capacity. With COVID-19 affecting the lungs and causing a decline in oxygen saturation, it can lead to complications.
The report, citing Dr Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis C-Doc, stated that people who are obese have a heightened inflammation in the body which was aggravated by COVID-19 disease, resulting in a higher risk of morbidity and mortality. Doctors also said that obese people had weaker respiratory muscles, lower lung volumes, and increased resistance in their airways, all of which make them vulnerable to complications from COVID-19.
What you can do to lose or maintain weight
Here are a few tips you can follow to shed the pounds or boost your weight loss and reduce your risk of diseases, including COVID-19:
- Follow a balanced diet: Eat a healthy, balanced diet consisting of a variety of nutritionally dense foods. Focus on whole foods such as – fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, etc. Avoid or limit intake of fatty red or processed meats, baked goods, processed foods, white foods, etc.
- Drink enough water: Turns out, drinking water can help you reduce weight and belly fat. Research has shown that drinking water (about a half-liter) half an hour before meals helped dieters eat fewer calories and lose more weight by 44 per cent than those who didn’t drink water. Drinking water also boosts your metabolism, helping you burn more calories.
- Sip green tea: One of the healthiest drinks on the planet, green tea is packed full of powerful antioxidants called catechins, which can work synergistically with caffeine to boost fat burning. While more research is required, several studies suggest that green tea (either as a beverage or a green tea extract supplement) can help with weight loss.
- Cut back on refined sugar: Consuming added sugar has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease among several health problems. If you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, you would want to limit your intake of added sugar.
- Stick to an exercise plan: While your diet plays a major role in weight loss and weight management, regular physical activity and exercise are important to prevent fat accumulation and maintain overall health. Even if you are a busy person, aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week – if not every day. You can begin by doing the following activities such as brisk walking, taking stairs, dancing, gardening, etc. Regular exercise will not help you maintain weight but also improve your physical and mental health.
The bottom line is, making simple healthier lifestyle changes and sticking to them will help you avoid gaining weight, reduce your risk of being obese, helping you stay fit and safe from COVID-19 and other diseases.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.