Obese Individuals are Prone to More Diseases & Higher Risks of Death from COVID-19

COVID-19 virus has imposed a threat to many people all over the world. Now that vaccines are becoming available to more people, many are slowly gaining a sense of normalcy. However, people may still be at risk even after getting the shot, especially those struggling with obesity.

Obesity is categorized by a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30. The abnormal amount of fat is associated with several health problems. Even without the factor of the pandemic, obesity itself is already a risk for people who have it because of its relation to a poorer quality of life. More than just being vulnerable to the virus, continuous accumulation of unhealthy weight can worsen pre-existing health conditions.

Diseases Associated with Obese People

Type 2 Diabetes

Most patients that have type 2 diabetes are obese or overweight. Excess fat leads to insulin resistance, leading to the higher presence of sugar in the blood, a clear sign of diabetes. The best solution to prevent Type 2 diabetes is to lessen food intake and practice a proper diet, including having a night of adequate sleep and daily exercise.

Heart disease and stroke

Most patients that have type 2 diabetes are obese or overweight. Excess fat leads to insulin resistance, leading to the higher presence of sugar in the blood, a clear sign of diabetes. The best solution to prevent Type 2 diabetes is to lessen food intake and practice a proper diet, including having a night of adequate sleep and daily exercise.

Gallbladder disease

Gallbladder disease can be acquired even by those who don’t experience obesity. Yet, obese patients are more likely to have the condition. High cholesterol in the bile leads to the formation of gallstones. However, unlike the two diseases above, certain methods for losing weight to prevent gallbladder disease may worsen the condition.


Obesity is a risk factor for several cancers, such as colon, breast, and kidney cancer. Visceral fat causes inflammation to organs, affecting how your body manages hormones, like insulin and estrogen.

Regarding curing obesity, the goal to prevent these diseases isn’t about achieving an ideal weight but having a healthy weight that matches your body. To learn the adequate weight and lifestyle a person with obesity needs, it is best to pinpoint the factors that may have led to your excessive weight gain in the first place. From there, you can find a way to reduce those risks and live healthier.

Physical inactivity

Aside from being fit and good-looking, people exercise to prevent developing conditions like obesity and other health issues.  Physically active people burn more calories compared to those who are not. A sedentary lifestyle allows for excess fat to retain in your body, causing complications. 

If you want to be more physically active, remember that it doesn’t end with dumbbells and pull-bars. Many physical activities can help you prevent obesity, like dancing, walking around the park, swimming, biking, and other fun activities that may become interesting to you.


Eating portions and frequency or how much and often you eat is a common problem for people who have become obese. Too much desire for food that is high in fat and sugar is the best contributor to weight gain and obesity. 

Moreover, overeating is a habit that should be monitored from a very young age. Even for those not categorized as obese, overeating may cause more complications, even at an early age. 

People are raised and practised eating three times a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, some studies show that people who eat more than thrice a day in small servings have better cholesterol and sugar levels than those who eat large portions three times a day. This study explains that those who eat small amounts of food produce stable insulin levels compared to the opposite.


Weight is not necessarily a choice. For some, obesity is caused because of genetics. A father or the mother who suffers from obesity could have affected the child’s condition. 

A child can inherit some hormones from a parent who has been obese. For example, one genetic cause of obesity is leptin deficiency. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in fat cells and the placenta. It controls your weight by signalling your brain to be aware of your food intake when your body fat stores are too high or has reached their limit. If the body cannot produce enough leptin to signal the brain to eat less, this control is lost, so obesity happens.

Obesity and COVID-19

Obesity has been considered a global epidemic for a long time. It is also common knowledge how many health issues are associated with gaining excess weight. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten people worldwide, the risk imposed by obesity is again highlighted.

Since obesity is related to impaired immune function, obese patients may be vulnerable to severe complications after being diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. It can lead to higher risks like hospitalization, invasive mechanical ventilation, and even death. 

Many countries have people who are fighting obesity. For example, Malaysia is reported to have a 17.6% increase in cases of obesity in 2018, and the number continues to rise every year. 

Currently, the world strives to maintain protocols to prevent the spreading of the virus, like lockdowns. This means all schools and offices are closed for possible mass gatherings. Here then, the implementation of work from home and home-based classes began. 

The two implemented protocols drive people to lack physical activity, resulting in gaining more weight. Viral food recipes have become a trend on different social media outlets, and more and more people have become fond of them. The only downside of this matter is, most of these viral food recipes are high in sugar and fat, the typical comfort food, which may also become a primary reason for developing obesity.

Pre-existing diseases of obese patients may worsen the effects of COVID-19. Countries like the UK and Italy have reported that 73.7% to 99% of the people who died from the virus are obese and overweight. Some of the comorbidities listed below are both obesity-related and COVID-19 risk:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Asthma 
  • Hypertension
  • Liver disease
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Lung disease

Why Lose Weight?

People often say that it is more fun to enjoy eating than having a hard time working out. Yes, it may be true, but working out to lose weight may also end up being an enjoyable activity.

In the same way, eating gives joy to people. However, being healthy and having to enjoy food without any health complications is way better. Being fit or losing weight doesn’t mean you need to restrict yourself from eating. Food is always essential, as it gives you the energy to go through your day. The vital matter to keep in mind is what you eat and balancing your food and lifestyle habits. 

Especially nowadays, because of the COVID-19 virus, your aim should be to have a healthy immune system to fight the virus from entering your body. If you haven’t been keeping your diet on track, maybe the existence of the virus is a sign for you to start changing your current lifestyle. 

Asides from that, losing weight has a lot of benefits, from looking good to feeling good, including the following: 

  • Studies show that losing only from 5% to 10% of your body weight may improve your mental health and possibly reduce cardiovascular disease and cancer risk. For those who have a hard time sleeping well, weight loss may also improve sleep and raise energy levels.
  • Losing weight improves insulin sensitivity for those who have type 2 diabetes.
  • Weight loss can also improve heart health by reducing pressure on arteries, reducing the work of your heart to pump blood through the body.
  • Losing weight can help improve body movement.
  • It can increase self-esteem for those who are conscious of their appearances due to being overweight. 
  • Being overweight can cause damage and stress to the joints, and losing weight can help fix this problem.

No matter the situation, whether the COVID-19 is there or not, it is always best to find time to help your body become healthy. Obesity itself can be harmful without the virus. 

Since most of the people are under lockdowns, make the best out of it. There is no excuse to have time to work with your exercises as there are tons of indoor workouts you can try. There are no excuses to prepare a healthy meal – you have more time to do it yourself. You have more time to plan your day and help your family stay fit to prevent causes of obesity and other related complications.