The World Obesity Federation (WOF), which is backed by the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021, stating that 9 out of 10 Covid-19 deaths worldwide came from countries where more than half the population is overweight and that countries where the majority of adults are overweight have death rates ten times worse than those that don’t.
The report was called by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, as an “alarming wake-up call world-wide for overall health.” He stated that it should be a clear and dire warning that nations must tackle obesity and explains why some nations, such as the UK or America, have had spiraling death rates but others, especially in Asia, have not.
The WOF stated that although advanced age is still, by a narrow margin, the major factor for those that have significant problems dealing with Covid-19, the new report shows for the first time that those who struggle with obesity are a close second.
The WOF is calling for nations to prioritize obese people to be vaccinated around the world behind the elderly, stating that this factor alone would help protect against deaths.
According to the WOF, this report, which was compiled by more than fifty regional and national obesity organizations from countries all around the planet, appears to show why in many Asian countries like Thailand or Japan the majority of people who catch Covid-19 are asymptomatic or have mild to little symptoms but why the problem has been so much more severe in countries like the UK or the USA. In the USA, over three-quarters of the population are obese according to the WOF, and has the highest number of total deaths in the world.
Tim Lobstein, who is described as the senior policy adviser to the WOF and the report’s main author, said in a statement that death rates are a jaw-dropping ten times higher in countries where over fifty percent of the population is obese and shows that 2.2 million of 2.5 million global deaths related to Covid-19 were in countries where over half the population was overweight.
Reaction to the report was swift from many sectors, including the health and fitness sector, who have claimed they have been stating this for the past year while many governments closed gyms and fitness centers and made exercise restrictive or difficult.