People who contract coronavirus and are also obese often suffer worse outcomes, but obesity also seems to have some protective effects, according to a leading Turkish doctor.
A meta-analysis of 19 studies “showed that in individuals with obesity, the need for hospitalization, intensive care and attachment to a ventilator increased by up to 80% due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Okan Bulent Yildiz, an endocrinologist at Hacettepe University Medical School in the Turkish capital Ankara.
While 2 billion people worldwide have an excess weight or obesity problem, the number of COVID-19 cases has reached nearly 50 million, said Yildiz, and recently, he and his colleagues have been assessing studies on the relationship between the two.
But in contrast to the negative effects, said Yildiz, the meta-analysis also found “that obesity did not increase the risk of death in COVID-19 patients in intensive care. Mild to moderate obesity can even have some protective effect in intensive care. This condition is called the obesity paradox.”
The meta-analysis will be submitted to a journal once completed, he added.
Stressing the importance of daily physical activity during the pandemic, Yildiz said: “Increased time spent at home during the pandemic period, decreased physical activity, impaired sleep patterns, and high stress make weight control difficult for people with obesity”.
He added that this may even cause weight gain for those did not have weight problems before.
“Everyone needs a healthy and balanced diet,” said the doctor, as food is a significant factor to gird the human body against the disease.
On stress, he warned: “The higher stress level of one person is, the harder it gets to lose weight for that person.”
“It is impossible to control your weight if you are not physically active. For this, one must do proper exercises either at home or outside by obeying social distance rules,” he said. (Anadolu Agency)