Trim the Fat. Overweight Americans number 8 in World Covid death toll

500,000 Covid-19 deaths in America is a grim statistic.

Over 50 percent of the American public is obese. Now the World Obesity Foundation has stuck a fork in the stomach of that portion of the slothful USA population and awarded this country a dubious honor.

America is amongst top countries where over half the population is obese and whose population is in the top 10 in Covid-19 deaths.

Excerpted from The Guardian 3.3.2021

In the USA, where adult overweight and obesity is at 68%, 12% of Covid patients in intensive care have normal weight, 24% are overweight and 64% are obese.

Countries with high levels of overweight people, such as the UK and the US, have the highest death rates from Covid-19, a landmark report reveals, prompting calls for governments to urgently tackle obesity, as well as prioritising overweight people for vaccinations.

The risks rise with increasing overweight. An analysis of the data seen by the Guardian shows that in the UK, where almost 64% of adults are overweight or obese, nearly 20% of Covid patients in intensive care are of normal weight, 32% are overweight and 48% are obese.

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About 2.2 million of the 2.5 million deaths from Covid were in countries with high levels of overweight people, says the report from the World Obesity Federation. Countries such as the UK, US and Italy, where more than 50% of adults are overweight, have the biggest proportions of deaths linked to coronavirus.

The issue is not just obesity, but levels of weight that many assume are now normal in many countries. Death rates are 10 times higher in those where more than half the adults had a body mass index (BMI) of more than 25kg/m2 – the point at which normal weight tips into overweight.

People who are overweight should be given greater priority for vaccinations and tests because of their increased risk of death, says the World Obesity Federation.

Among countries where more than half the adult population is overweight, Belgium has the highest level of deaths, followed by Slovenia and the UK. Italy and Portugal are 5th and 6th, while the US is 8th.

Vietnam, by contrast, has the lowest Covid death rate in the world and second lowest level of overweight in the population.

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

“We were shocked to see such a high correlation between a country’s proportion of overweight adults and its deaths from Covid-19,” said Dr Tim Lobstein, the report’s author and former adviser to the WHO and Public Health England.