Nearly three out of four of Americans who have died from COVID-19 were obese or overweight, based on data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The data of one study group discovered that nearly 50% of those who have died from the virus were obese, and a little over 27% were overweight.
A body mass index (BMI) above 30 is considered obese, while overweight people have a BMI of 25 to 29.9. In the country, about 70% are considered overweight, with 42.4% classified as obese.
The new CDC data follows a report from the World Obesity Federation (WOF) that said 90% of all COVID-19 deaths worldwide have occurred in countries where half the population is considered obese or overweight.
The WOF adds that 2.2 million of the world’s 2.5 million COVID-19 deaths so far have occurred in countries where 50% or more of the population is obese or overweight.
“Increased body weight is the second greatest predictor of hospitalization and a high risk of death for people suffering from Covid-19,” the federation report said.
“Only old age rates as a higher risk factor. The unprecedented economic costs of Covid-19 are largely due to the measures taken to avoid the excess hospitalization and need for treatment of the disease,” the report said.
“Reducing one major risk factor, overweight, would have resulted in far less stress on health services and reduced the need to protect those services from being overwhelmed.”
These results highlight the need to promote and support a healthy BMI, which might be especially important for populations disproportionately affected by obesity.
“As clinicians develop care plans for COVID-19 patients, they should consider the risk for severe outcomes in patients with higher BMIs, especially for those with severe obesity,” the agency wrote.