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Dr. Haqqani: Increased obesity in COVID-19 causes concern

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During the pandemic, obesity rates increased. Obesity rates in Michigan and 11 other states are currently over 35%. In a previous report, the Michigan rate was less than 35%. The rate of increase over the past few years across the country has been dramatic. In 2017, only six states were 35%, but in 2018 that number increased to nine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which released the information, age, race, and ethnic disparities are also significant in increasing obesity.

Problems with obesity

Obesity is measured and defined by the body mass index (BMI), an indicator of fat mass in the body. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy for most adults. A BMI of 30 is considered obese, and when the index reaches 40, severe obesity appears.



Even without COVID-19, obesity is dangerous to the body. There is a clear association between obesity and high blood pressure, the risk of stroke and heart attack, and high cholesterol. If a person is too heavy, many more problems will be exacerbated. They include diabetes, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, and respiratory problems. Mental illnesses such as clinical depression and anxiety are also affected. Some cancers, such as breast cancer and kidney cancer, can be difficult to fight if you are overweight. Unnecessary body pain and unproductive life can also occur.


In addition to the usual risks, COVID-19 increases the likelihood of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This is a major complication that is likely to occur in the presence of obesity in hospitalized patients. ARDS reduces the distribution of oxygen through blood vessels and interferes with lung function. Blood clots, infections, more complex lung problems, and organ failure are also more likely.


Obesity and the highest risk community of COVID-19

Adults with a particular ethnic background are most at risk in the event of a conflict between obesity and COVID-19. In states reporting an obesity rate of 35%, non-Hispanic African Americans and Hispanic adults have the highest obesity rankings, followed by non-Hispanic Caucasian adults.

Some of the reasons these groups may show higher complication rates may be due to health system disparities. In addition to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma are common in the minority. All of these problems are considered to be at high risk for patients with COVID-19.


Education and age also show up in higher obesity statistics. Thirty-six percent of those without a high school degree reported obesity. High school graduates accounted for 34.3%, and those who attended some college classes accounted for 32.8%. College graduates showed the lowest obesity in 25%. Obesity occurred in adults over the age of 45, twice as much as adults under the age of 24.

Causes of obesity

An unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and inadequate rest are obvious causes of obesity. Beyond these important factors, other less obvious issues can also contribute. They include physical, biological, therapeutic, and mental conditions.

Fight against overweight

The importance of a proper diet cannot be exaggerated in combating individual obesity. Diet is the cornerstone of weight management. Personalized plans that include non-nutrition impacts should be designed by a physician or dietitian. It is very important that the diet should not be thorough or unreasonable.

Exercise and activity combine to create the other half of the major weight gain and elimination strategies. Treating the underlying disorder improves control of weight gain. Counseling may be a good step in long-term weight loss. If you have a family history of obesity, family therapy can be the key to success.

Personal health care is more important than ever.

Log on to vascularhealthclinics.org for more information on obesity, weight management and treatment, and other conditions and treatments.

Ask Dr. Haqqani

If you have any questions about cardiovascular health, such as heart, blood pressure, or stroke lifestyle, I would like to answer them. Questions can be emailed to Dr. Haqqani at questions @ vascularhealthclinics.org.

Dr. Omar P. Haqqani is responsible for vascular and endovascular surgery at the Midland Vascular Health Clinic. www.vascularhealthclinics.org

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