What is the relationship between Obesity and COVID-19? Does one fuel the other and vice versa?
You know, the pandemic has bred a lot of memes. Some of the memes were about how folks were gaining the “COVID-19”, meaning 19 pounds while on lockdown or in quarantine. Folks were gaining weight! When I first saw the memes, I thought they were a funny play on words, but they struck me as more ironic than funny. Ironic because obesity, and even being overweight, is a significant risk factor for increased severity of COVID-19 disease and death. In fact, given the relationship between obesity and COVID-19, and given that at least 42% of the US adult population is clinically obese, I’m shocked we aren’t talking about obesity more. It’s common knowledge that obesity is a serious underlying risk factor for numerous health issues, and while we “know” it’s a problem, I would have thought we’d be discussing it day and night, considering our lives have been turned upside down by this pandemic…a pandemic made significantly worse by our obesity problem. It’s an epidemic within an epidemic, yet folks seem more concerned about politics and placing blame. Anyhow…I decided to address the issue on my Causes or Cures podcast!
In Episode 40 of Causes or Cures, I discuss the relationship between obesity and COVID-19 and have a great chat with Dr. Rami Nakeshbandi and Rohan Maini about their research and paper they recently published in the International Journal of Obesity, The Impact of Obesity on COVID-19 Complications: A Retrospective Cohort Study. Dr. Nakeshbandi and Rohan Maini discuss the results of their research, particularly differences noted between men and women, ages, fat deposition, what outcomes were significantly impacted, and, perhaps most interestingly, WHY and HOW obesity impacts COVID-19, and how it is intimately linked to inflammation. They also use their sample population to elaborate on the causes of obesity on both the individual and neighborhood level and what we can do to prevent or slow down the USA’s rising obesity rates. Not only do I hope you learn something from this podcast ( I know I did), but after you listen to it, I hope you think about ways that you can fight the obesity epidemic. What can you do, right now, with what is available to you, to help drive down our obesity rates? The problem is huge, and only getting bigger, and it will take all of us to find a solution. If we don’t find a solution soon, predictions are grim. Over half of our population could be obese in 10 years. That’s unacceptable and sad and darn it, America shouldn’t allow it to happen.
Anyhow…who are my podcast guests?
Dr. Nakeshbandi is the Interim Chief Medical Officer at Suny Downstate Medical Center and the Chief Quality Officer. He is also the Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and is the Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases. Rohan is a 4th year medical student at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, where he cofounded a Street Medicine organization and serves as the director of a student-run asylum clinic. He will be applying for an Internal Medicine residency this year.
To hear all about obesity and COVID-19, visit the Causes or Cures website here. That will also guide you to other places to listen- Apple, Spotify, etc. And if you think the information is valuable or intriguing, please consider subscribing and/or sharing the episode, or even the whole podcast! And while you’re there, DO check out other episdoes. I bet you’ll find something to listen to. 😉
In addition to this episode, consider reading my piece on factor leading to emerging infectious diseases and why we must be aware of them. And if you aren’t interested in COVID-19 topics, here’s a podcast on the health benefits of intermittent fasting with the Father of Intermittent Fasting. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, here’s a podcast on our health information crisis.
Thanks guys! Don’t forget to find me on Instagram! I’m also on Twitter, but I post my political opinions too much, and they might annoy you.
Stay healthy team,