In Brief: Escape the COVID-Obesity Trap
Being overweight was a leading comorbidity factor, but lockdowns made that even worse.
Americans might want to take stock of an uncomfortable truth: We’re too fat. And it’s killing us in more ways than one, including being a leading comorbidity factor in the ChiCom Virus pandemic. Jack Butler elucidates at National Review:
More than a year after the coronavirus came to the United States, and governments across the world instituted measures ostensibly to limit its spread, there remains much we don’t know about the disease. … Recently, however, two aspects of the coronavirus era have become clearer. Both of them concern weight, and both suggest that one of the key ways our society reacted was an obvious mistake — and one that should be corrected.
He explains that a majority of American adults report “unwanted weight change” in the last year. Some is weight loss, but clearly most is weight gain. No gyms or even outside activity in many places, plus being cooped up at home with snacks and stress, means we put on the pounds. Butler adds:
According to a March report by the World Obesity Federation … “of the 2.5 million COVID-19 deaths reported by the end of February 2021, 2.2 million were in countries where more than half the population is classified as overweight.” There may be other factors at play; air-conditioning, climate, time spent indoors, etc. But in a survey of its own, also in March, our own CDC found that, in the United States, more than half of coronavirus patients in hospitals were medically obese, and an additional 28 percent were overweight.
Nevertheless, authorities persisted, adding to the trouble.
The result is that America has become unhealthier and less physically capable during the pandemic than it was before. And it was no spring chicken to begin with: According to the CDC, 42 percent of the country was considered medically obese as of 2018. The vicious cycle doesn’t stop, either, with lockdowns encouraging obesity and obesity exacerbating the effects of the virus. In many jurisdictions, being above a certain weight enables one to get the coronavirus vaccine sooner, creating a perverse incentive to remain unfit. All this raises another troubling question for the post-COVID era: Will excessive government impositions on private life encourage an unhealthy lifestyle that long outlasts the pandemic itself?
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