Coronavirus: UK experts bat for anti-obesity measures to blunt the effects of Covid-19

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Published: July 25, 2020 6:47 PM

In a recent interview he had also asked his countrymen to make losing weight a target for this year. Johnson had said that losing weight was one of the best ways to reduce the risks from Coronavirus.

The report comes in the wake of reports of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson finalising plans for some anti-obesity plans in the country. (Representative image)

With the realisation seeping in that there is no permanent solution to curb the spread of Covid-19 at least in the short term, various government authorities and organisations are looking at other ways which could lessen the spread of the virus and also blunt the severity among the infected. The latest initiative has come from the Public Health England (PHE), a body associated with the government department of health, which has said that countering the problem of obesity and overweight might reduce the serious effects of Covid-19 on the patients, news agency PTI reported.

Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at PHE was quoted as saying that there is clear evidence that overweight and obesity puts the patients of Covid-19 at greater risk of serious illness or death from the disease. She also said that the case for efforts to curb obesity and overweight has never been stronger before. The PHE also noted that the experience of the United Kingdom and world at large has shown that obese and overweight patients of Coronavirus are more in need of hospitalisation and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission.

The report comes in the wake of reports of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson finalising plans for some anti-obesity plans in the country. In a recent interview he had also asked his countrymen to make losing weight a target for this year. Johnson had said that losing weight was one of the best ways to reduce the risks from Coronavirus. Johnson has himself lost more than 6 kgs of his weight since he contracted Coronavirus earlier this year.

However, it would be pertinent to note that the evidence with the PHE has not suggested that obese and overweight people are at a larger risk of contracting the virus as compared to other people. The evidence has suggested that coping with the disease could be more difficult for obese people as they might show most severe symptoms and might need to get hospitalised due to it.

According to one study, people having Body Mass Index (BMI) above 40 increase are at double the risk of death from Covid-19 in comparison to those whose BMI is in the range of 35-40. Almost two third population of the United Kingdom are obese, the news report said.

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