Why being overweight increases the chances of dying from coronavirus?
June 15, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

Why being overweight increases the chances of dying from coronavirus?

اردو میں پڑھیں

Researchers say that being overweight right now worsens the possibility of suffering severely from COVID-19. Shifa4U believes that you should continue to adhere to the safety guidelines announced by the government, especially if you are overweight or have family members who are overweight. If you are overweight, it is recommended that you follow a strict diet and exercise routine to reduce body weight and get fit. If you need guidance on how to reduce weight, Shifa4u has an online doctor facility, among many other healthcare facilities for you to use from the comfort of your home. 

Why is being fat affecting the likelihood of dying?

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) study, obese people had a higher risk of dying from the coronavirus than those with a BMI of less than 30. The WHO concluded that the BMI cutoff for a person to be considered 'healthy', or less likely to suffer severely from COVID-19, is 25. Consequently, even those who have a BMI between 25 and 30 are at a greater risk of experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19. The patients in the WHO study who had a BMI of more than 30 had a 33% greater risk of dying, while 34.5% were overweight, and 31.5% were obese. This means only 26% of the ill patients had a healthy BMI. Now that we know that being overweight is highly dangerous under current circumstances, what is the reason behind this?

When a person is carrying too much fat, they are less likely to perform physical exercise resulting in them becoming medically unfit. This decreases their lung capacity, causing a struggle in transporting oxygen through the whole body and impacting several organs. Experts say that being overweight is not directly the reason for the higher risk of death from COVID-19; rather, the unfitness of overweight or obese people is the root problem.

What can you do it if you are obese or overweight?

Although trying to reduce weight is the best way to improve your chances of not dying from COVID-19, you should temporarily do everything in your power to increase your fitness level and lung capacity. This includes doing a range of exercises and possibly playing a low-contact sport like badminton, as social distancing can be performed while doing such activities. We advise exercises such as speed walking, slow jogging, cycling, and burpees. Moreover, many people seem to think that going to the gym is fine under current circumstances, but we highly discourage this. When the human body sweats, the sweat droplets diffuse into the air, which can cause COVID-19 to spread. Additionally, the closed nature of gyms makes it far easier for the virus to spread within them.

Obesity can be overcome by exercising and avoiding excessive eating while maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. Moreover, being overweight or obese can create other underlying conditions such as fat deposits, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and diabetes, so it is necessary to address these medical issues as well.


Currently, it seems like COVID-19 is here to stay, at least until a vaccine is released. WHO recently announced that COVID-19 will not go away quickly. Shifa4u strongly recommends that you do as much as you can to avoid catching and suffering from COVID-19. This includes following all health guidelines, trying to stay fit, having a medically healthy body weight, and getting tested. Shifa4U offers some preliminary tests that can give you an insight into whether you have COVID-19 and how bad it is. If you feel like you need any other medical advice, Shifa4u has online facilities where you can contact a doctor from your home.


Recommended Packages

Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.