Covid-19 death rates are 10 times higher in countries where more than half of the adult population is classified as overweight according to a comprehensive report from the World Obesity Federation has found.
Many people want to point to some moral failing to not comply with mask usage or insufficient vaccination as the reason for increased COVID deaths in a particular state or country. Lower mask usage can be a reason for increased numbers of cases but hospitalization and deaths are more because of obesity and vaccinations.
The obesity report analyzed mortality data from Johns Hopkins University and the WHO Global Health Observatory data on obesity. At the time 2.5 million covid-19 deaths were reported at the end of February 2021 and 2.2 million were in countries where over half the population is classified as overweight—defined as a body mass index above 25. There was not a single example of a country with less than 40% of the population overweight that has high death rates (over 10 per 100 000), the report said. Similarly, no country with a death rate over 100 per 100 000 had less than 50% of their population overweight.
There are those who say that the deaths per 100,000 being lower in California (2045 per 100k) than Texas (2771 per 100k) is due to stricter mask policies or vaccination rates in California. However, the obesity rate in California is 26% while the obesity rate in Texas is 34%.
Why would mask policies matter if almost all people were wearing ineffective cloth masks or non-surgical grade of N95 masks?
Why would mask policies matter if most people wear masks in a way that would not actually prevent spread? They were not leaving bruises on their face with N95 masks tightened to leave no air gap?
Currently, COVID19 cases are reported in about 20-32% of people depending upon the state. There seems to be no difference in the disease transmission of omicron between states with different masking policies. Texas and California are identical in transmission.
Find more statistics at Statista
A ten percent difference in vaccination rate is relatively meaningless for overall hospitalization and deaths. 60% vaccinated or 70% vaccinated is relatively meaningless. However, having twice the obesity rate (50% vs 25%) and more of those people being severely obese instead of a little obese was a greater determination of COVID death rates.
However, there is more correlation with higher obesity rates.
There are other factors with a greater impact than mask usage levels.
CDC Says Obesity Worsens Outcomes from COVID-19
Adults with excess weight are at even greater risk during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Having obesity increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. People who are overweight may also be at increased risk.
Having obesity may triple the risk of hospitalization due to a COVID-19 infection.
Obesity is linked to impaired immune function.
Obesity decreases lung capacity and reserve and can make ventilation more difficult.
Previous COVID Infections Provided 2-4 Times More Protection Than Vaccination
However, vaccinations are less protective than having contracted and survived COVID before.
A study published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report looked at vaccinated and unvaccinated adults from May to November 2021, before and after delta’s summer surge. By the fall, people who’d had a previous case of Covid, vaccinated or not, were far less likely to be diagnosed with the disease than those who’d only been vaccinated.
In October, vaccination only reduced Covid rates by 6.2-fold in California and 4.5-fold in New York, compared with the unvaccinated people who had never been infected.
Among people with previous Covid-19 diagnoses who hadn’t been vaccinated, those rates were 29-fold lower in California and 14.7-fold lower in New York, compared with the unvaccinated, previously uninfected group. At the same time, vaccination plus a prior diagnosis reduced case rates by 32.5-fold in California and 19.8-fold in New York.
SOURCES- BMJ, CDC
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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