#18 COVD-19 and Obesity - How Much Does Obesity Affect Your Risk? - Trudy Stone

#18 COVD-19 and Obesity – How Much Does Obesity Affect Your Risk?

Roughly 40 percent of U.S. adults have obesity, which is what makes this topic today pretty alarming. People living with obesity are emerging as one of the groups most at risk of critical illness if they contract COVID-19. 

Obesity is a chronic medical condition that is already a well-documented risk factor for hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. 

Here’s a look at what we’ll discuss in this episode: 

  • [1:26] Roughly 40% of US adults have obesity. People living with obesity are emerging as one of the groups most at risk of critical illness if they contract Covid-19.
  • [1:39] Obesity is a chronic medical condition that is already a well-documented risk factor for hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. 
  • [1:58] Britain has one of the biggest obesity problems in Europe and now the largest death toll by cumulative numbers.
  • [2:33] Apart from seniors over 65 years of age, obesity is the leading risk factor hospitalization and need for critical care due to Covid-19. 
  • [3:29] Our hormone that connects the body’s metabolism and immune response may explain why Covid-19 is so dangerous for people with obesity. 
  • [3:49] The hormone leptin regulates appetite and metabolism. It also regulates the cells that fight infection.
  • [4:02] The more fat a person has, the more leptin circulates in their body.
  • [4:16] Elevated leptin levels hamper the body’s ability to fight off infections in the lungs and elsewhere. High leptin levels promote a low gray systemic inflammatory state.
  • [5:33] Inflammation is at the root of most if not all diseases.
  • [6:45] Cytokine molecules are part of a healthy immune system response except when the number of molecules soar.
  • [7:10] People with obesity hospitalized with Covid-19 are almost twice as likely to need a ventilator according to information gathered by 41 hospitals in the Southern United States.
  • [8:11] A person with obesity carries excess chest and abdominal fat. That extra weight puts pressure on their diaphragm, lungs, and chest cavity. This can lead to breathing problems and even lung damage.
  • [8:35] The respiratory system of a person with obesity is already working at a disadvantage before the added distress of a Covid-19 infection. With the infection, their blood levels could drop to near-fatal levels without them knowing.
  • [8:58] Those with severe or class three obesity which is defined as a BMI of 40 or higher are most at risk.
  • [9:44] Obesity is also linked with poor mental health.
  • [9:53] Anxiety and stress may contribute to further weight gain while in isolation at home.
  • [10:46] Another study was done by the University of Alberta that hints that the Covid-19 pandemic will increase obesity rates especially among those who have lost their job. 
  • [11:38] As financial stress increases, the desire to eat also increases. 
  • [11:50] Cortisol triggers the pumping of blood to the large muscles in preparation for a fight or flight response.
  • [12:45] People squirreled away food because they thought the environment was becoming harsher.
  • [14:27] Hyperpalatable foods are those that hit the sweet spot in your mouth and immediately tell your brain to have more even if you feel full.
  • [15:27] Inflammation in the body may lead to you being overweight.
  • [16:57] Impaired immune systems make an individual more susceptible to viral infections in general.
  • [18:50] It’s important to love your body as it is right now and respect and honor it for all that it has brought you to. 
  • [19:37] When you attack yourself with negative self-talk, it puts your body in a stress response which increases your cortisol which leads to weight gain. 
  • [20:08] There are 37 trillion in your body and your beliefs affect the functioning of these cells. Your thoughts trigger chemical messengers in your brain which in turn trigger your cells to take action.

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