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Countries with high levels of overweight people have more COVID deaths according to a report from the World Obesity Federation.

obese man, burgers and fries

As individuals, we can’t keep ignoring the value of good health for ourselves and our families. There has to be a revolution and it has to start with individuals deciding that they are going to be healthy and take steps to start doing that. Most people don’t think of health actively, people are concerned about health for sure, but they are not reading books about health, they are not looking at everything they eat, they are not trying to be as healthy as they can be.

Yesterday I read an article in The Times a UK news outlet, the headline was, Obesity identified as a driver of Britain’s COVID death toll. It makes for interesting reading.

No country where less than 40% of the population is overweight has COVID death rates above 10 per 100,000, while no country with death rates above 100 per 100,000 has overweight rates of less than 50%.  Among countries where more than half the adult population is overweight, Belgium has the highest level of deaths, followed by Slovenia and the UK. In the UK 64% of adults are overweight, including 28% who are obese, the 4th highest in the world. The country’s Covid death rates, at 182 deaths per 100,000 is the 3rd highest according to data up to last month. The US has the highest proportion of overweight people, at 68%, and the 5th highest Covid death rate.

The biggest factor in the death toll is age, the report says, but being overweight comes second. It is already known to increase people’s risk when they contract infectious diseases such as flu.

The author of the world obesity report Tim Lobstein said that “there is no escaping the clear correlation between some of the world’s worst COVID death rates and worst obesity rates in the US and UK. If governments had kept their promises to halt the rise in obesity, they could have prevented thousands of Covid-related deaths”.

Johanna Ralston, chief executive of the World Obesity Federation said “old age is unavoidable, but the conditions that contribute to overweight can be highly avoidable if governments step up and we all join forces”. We don’t need to wait for the government to tell us what to do, we all ought to know that eating highly processed foods, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, smoking, and lack of exercise cannot be good for us.

obese women walking

Excess body fat is detrimental to our health. People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for many health problems including heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, and certain types of cancer. Obesity can affect every system in your body including your lungs, brain, and liver. We are personally responsible for our own health. The change needs to come from each one of us before the next pandemic.

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