There has been enough evidence that people with obesity, or higher Body Mass Index (BMI), are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and even death. This means, those having BMI above 40 are not only at risk of severe coronavirus infection but also death. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now claimed that those having moderate BMI or in other words moderately obese are also at risk of severe illness. According to the updated guidelines of the CDC, people with BMI between 30 and 40 are “at increased risk of severe illness from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.”
The public health institute also added that those with a BMI between 25 and 30 or those who are overweight, “might be at increased risk too.” HealthWire spoke to Dr Shashank Shah – Laparoscopic and Obesity Surgeon, Laparo Obeso Centre, Pune – to understand all about BMI and what people higher BMI need do in such circumstances.
What Is Body Mass Index (BMI)?
According to Dr Shashank Shah, BMI is body mass index, a measure of obesity through measurement and calculation of weight proportional to each ones height.
“It is a rough measure of obesity and can be used for gross measurement,” Dr Shah added.
Below are his views on some very important topics.
How It Is Directly Related To Our Health?
As BMI increases it directly increases health risks. Especially respiratory diseases increase with BMI. The more the excess weight, the more the inflammation and that increases morbidity of a disease like COVID.
According to the CDC, those with a BMI between 30 and 40 are “at increased risk of severe illness from COVID.” What’s your opinion on this and why is it so?
Those with BMI 30 to 40 fall in the category of severe obesity. These are the ones with more fat content and the incidence of diabetes and metabolic syndrome is higher in these. Type 2 Diabetes is more prevalent in this BMI in Asians.
What Are Things That These People (With Higher BMI Index) Can Do To Stay Safe?
An ideal and scientific option for those with BMI more the 35 is bariatric surgery.
However, they need to ensure that all the comorbidities are controlled well e.g. diabetes, blood pressure.
Breathing exercises and walk can improve their oxygen saturation and lung compliance.
Checking and correcting all nutritional deficiencies is also important.