United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson Urges Britons to Lose Weight to Reduce COVID-19 Deaths


According to NBC, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson is urging Britons to lose weight in order to reduce health risks and overall complications due to COVID-19. ~

Various scientific studies and national health bodies have linked obesity to a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. In the United Kingdom, almost 8 percent of critically ill COVID-19 patients in intensive care units were morbidly obese, compared to 2.9 percent of the general population, according to U.K. government statistics. Johnson tweeted Monday, “Losing weight is hard but with some small changes we can all feel fitter and healthier. If we all do our bit, we can reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus – as well as taking pressure off the NHS” (NBC). Health Secretary Matt Hancock wrote in The Telegraph on Monday that if every overweight Briton lost just 5 pounds, it would save the NHS 100 million pounds ($128 million) over the next five years. ~

According to World Obesity, obesity-related conditions seem to worsen the effect of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that people who are morbidly obese, have a a heart disease, or have diabetes, are at higher risk of COVID-19 complications. Persons with obesity who become ill and require intensive care also present challenges in patient management, due to obese patients being more difficult to intubate, being more challenging to obtain diagnostic imaging, and being more difficult to position and transport by nursing staff. In addition to that, World Obesity predicts an increase in obesity rates as weight loss programs and fat reducing surgeries are being reduced due to social distancing measures and lack of doctors available for optional surgeries. They also predict that social distancing measures, which forced physical inactivity in some countries, will have an impact on the risk of metabolic disease for some around the world. ~


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