Some reports are claiming that having a higher BMI (body mass index) can put you at a higher risk of catching and getting really sick or even dying from the Coronavirus, Covid-19. But is there any truth to these claims?
Actual Risk For Covid-19
Every day we learn new information about this new pandemic that is affecting every country on the planet. But in the United States, so little actual testing has been done that we really know very little about how many people had the disease, had no symptoms, had mild symptoms, recovered, or got really sick or how many have actually died.
Health Care workers and doctors are so overwhelmed by the number of patients coming in for treatment. Add to that their own fear because of the ridiculous lack of PPE (Protective Personal Equipment) that they probably have not taken the time to do the type of necessary record keeping to do a clear statistical analysis.
WHO is getting sickest from Covid 19?
At first it seemed like the only people dying from Covid-19 were old and infirmed adults. As time has gone by we've realized that there have even been young children who have caught the disease. Six percent of young children have been infected and even had severe case. But thankfully there have been no deaths of young children so far reported. According to the CDC, Millennials are not invincible. Up to one-fifth of infected people ages 20-44 have been hospitalized, including 2%-4% who required treatment in an intensive care unit.
Correlation or Causation?
This wonderful article in a respected publication, WIRED, by Christy Harrison, who wrote the book Anti-Diet will explain clearly why you do NOT have to worry if you are overweight, fat, plump or any heavier than you'd like to be. Your weight may be at most a correlation that does NOT imply that being heavier caused the disease.
The difference between CAUSATION and CORRELATION is so important to understant. Here's an example:
It's like a researcher saying that cancer causes yellow teeth.
Of course cancer doesn't cause your teeth to get yellow. But if you smoke, your teeth may have turned yellow. And when you smoke it increases your chances of getting CANCER! Now do you understand? This is a correlation - NOT causation.
Some indications are the having a higher BMI may actually PROTECT you - But until more time passes, and more testing is completed - not just on those with extreme cases, we will not know the truth. The truth we DO KNOW is that there is a definite bias against heavier people.
Weight Is Not the Determining Factor in Dying from Covid-19
Learn to manage stress the best way you can, and that may be a help in surviving Coronavirus.
One of the most important points to remember about weight not being the cause of getting Covid-19 is this: Inequality of economic security in our society have long been linked to worse health outcomes. Illnesses are not from eating cheaper or junk food. Plenty of thin people eat that food as well. Illness is worsened from living with the STRESS of prejudice, making less money, having less access to health care, living in dangerous living conditions. All these stressful conditions cause higher rates of diabetes and hypertension (two likely Covid-19 risk factors) and can also cause weight gain among people in oppressed groups. It's not a causation of being heavier but it may be related because heavier people are generally more stressed in life.
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