Obesity makes COVID-19 harder to fight

uva healthWith so much misinformation surrounding obesity, UVA Health’s Catherine Varney, DO, says these facts are clear: Obesity makes people sick and makes it harder to fight COVID-19.

Obesity is second only to older age as the main driver for people needing hospital care because of COVID-19, partly explaining why younger people experience severe disease, preliminary studies suggest. Obesity is also at the root of a host of common diseases afflicting Americans, she said.

“Obesity is the underlying cause of all these chronic diseases that we’re seeing in primary care — diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. There’s nothing obesity doesn’t touch — even depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, PCOS [polycystic ovarian syndrome], fertility and osteoarthritis. If we can get obesity under control, we can get all these other things under control,” said Varney, a family medicine physician who is also board certified in obesity medicine.

Varney has seven important facts for anyone struggling with obesity, which you can read about at the UVA Health newsroom.


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