According to the latest report by Public Health England (PHE), overweight people are at higher risk of suffering from severe illness or even death due to coronavirus. Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE said, “The current evidence is clear that being overweight or obese puts you at greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19, as well as from many other life-threatening diseases”.
PHE said that data showed that people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-35 were at 40 per cent higher risk of death from COVID-19 while people with a BMI of over 40 were at 90% higher risk. People with a BMI of over 30 are categorised as obese under the system and PHE said that almost 63% of adults in England are overweight or obese.
According to multiple studies, obesity is related to increased severity of influenza A, higher viral titers in exhaled breath and long-lasting transmission of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recognized obesity as a risk factor in SARS-CoV-2 related to severe illness.
A junior minister in Britain said on Friday that the government will soon make an announcement on how it plans to tackle obesity. This came after the media reported that the government is planning to introduce restrictions on the selling of junk food in Britain.
Helen Whately said, “The department of health has indeed been consulting on, for instance, how to protect children from adverts and the impact of adverts of unhealthy food. So of course that is one of the policies that would be looked at. There will be announcements on this shortly”.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson commented, “I’m not normally a believer in nannying, bossing politics but the reality is that obesity is one of the comorbidity factors”. He added that people should lose weight. Restrictions on advertising unhealthy foods could likely come next week in Britain.