Study Emphasizes COVID-19 Effects Worsened by Obesity Rates

Sep 22, 2020

Lower income families continue to face obstacles in getting access to healthy foods, as well as ways to stay active, according to a new report from Trust for America's Health.
Credit Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Indiana is one of 12 states with an obesity rate of at least 35 percent among adults, according to a new national report. 

Trust for America’s Health specifically focused on the effects of obesity in relation to COVID-19 for this year’s report, as the combination of the two could aggravate health issues for an already at-risk population. 

President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health John Auerbach said it takes more than just willpower to get to a healthy weight, but a healthy weight could prove life-saving during the pandemic. 

“It’s not just chronic diseases,” he said. “It also increases your risk of serious illness or death from an infectious disease like COVID.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and prevention, obesity increases the risk of severe illness and risk of hospitalization from COVID-19, and is linked to impaired immune function. The risk of death due to COVID is also higher. 

Auerbach said lower-income families continue to face obstacles getting access to nutrient-dense foods and ways to stay active. He said those challenges have been and will continue to be exacerbated by COVID-19.

Contact reporter Bárbara at banguiano@lakeshorepublicmedia or follow her on Twitter at @radiospice219.