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Can Overweight and Obesity Increase Your Risk of COVID-19?

Written by Kevin, Nutritionist (M.Sc. Medical Science)

People of all ages can be infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) but the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. Medical professionals have also suggested that being overweight or obese can further increase susceptibility while current research has shown that those of us who carry more fat around the abdominal area are in fact, at a much greater risk.

  • Abdominal fat can increase the number of inflammatory agents that cause chronic inflammation to spread around the body. Increased levels of inflammation weaken the immune system, increasing the risk of infection. 
  • It is known that those with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to the virus. Obesity is a pre-existing medical condition which can contribute to serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
  • Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that affects the lungs. Notably, those who carry too much fat around the stomach exhibit a reduction in lung capacity which can lead to further life-threatening complications if infected with the virus.

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