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Obesity itself linked to serious COVID-19 complications

The news is of major concern for physicians who say more than 40 percent of our country is obese.

YORK, Pa. — A 20-year-old football player from California University of Pennsylvania has passed away from complications of COVID-19.  Jamain Stephens Jr. would have been a senior this year.  The death of the 6’3, 355 pound defensive tackle comes as more doctors are focusing on weight and how it could play a very serious role in how well people recover from the virus.

"Obese COVID-19 patients are 7 times more likely to need a ventilated 4 times more likely to need critical care,” said heath and wellness media expert Dr. David Geier.  He says it's a huge problem because more than 40 recent of adults in our country are obese.   As the weeks go on and doctors do more studies, the say one thing is clear:  Many of the people who get severely ill from COVID are severely overweight.  However, they still don’t know why that is. 

Obviously excess weight can increase your chances of getting a number of health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. However, there's some new evidence that obesity itself can increase the likelihood of serious complications from a coronavirus infection. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, one study looked at more than 5,200 infected people, including 35% who were obese.  It found that the chances of hospitalization rose for people with higher BMIs, even when taking into account other conditions that could put them at risk.

Experts say it's important to know that they aren't talking about the extra COVID 15 you’ve put on this year.  The increased risk for serious COVID-19 complications appears more pronounced with extreme obesity, or someone with a BMI of 40 or higher. Dr. Geier says his best advice is to get daily exercise, try to eat a healthy balanced diet, and talk to your doctor if you’re concerned.