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More Clarity on “Risk”

More and more data is being accumulated concerning the epidemiology of the Covid-19 epidemic.  There are ongoing studies analyzing a number of issues including:  Who are the people most likely to develop serious illness if the virus is contracted?  What is the profile of people most likely to be hospitalized?  What factors contribute to people dying from the disease?

NYU in New York is studying a number of these issues and one of these studies has a bunch of data in already (over 4000 people in the study) that shows the most significant “risk factor” for those under the age of 60 that will require hospitalization: Obesity.  Surprisingly a history of cancer or underlying lung disease were not as predictive as a high BMI.

As we have previously heard that diabetes, hypertension and heart disease were also risk factors for serious disease/hospitalizations, it should come as no surprise that obesity is the most important risk factor.   Many of these other risk factors are co-morbidities of poor weight control, hence the logic why it is being shown that obesity is the most serious of the risks, as it contributes to the others.

The surreal, sobering experience of going through this pandemic has us all reevaluating our lives, our hopes, our relationships, our expectations of the “new normal” as well as our priorities.   Most of us used to think about controlling weight for a myriad of reasons, some of which are about health and some about aesthetics.  Now, one of the most important motivations to control weight is to avoid being part of the horrific scenario being played out every night on news shows: hospitals being overrun by people in the ICU on ventilators.

Please try to use this time to not stress eat, but rather, focus on becoming stronger.  You owe this to yourself and your family.  

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