Countries with high levels of overweight people, such as the UK and the US, have the highest death rates from Covid-19, a landmark report reveals, prompting calls for governments to urgently tackle obesity, as well as prioritising overweight people for vaccinations.
About 2.2 million of the 2.5 million deaths from Covid were in countries with high levels of overweight people, says the report from the World Obesity Federation. Countries such as the UK, US and Italy, where more than 50% of adults are overweight, have the biggest proportions of deaths linked to coronavirus.
The issue is not just obesity, but levels of weight that many assume are now normal in many countries. Death rates are 10 times higher in those where more than half the adults had a body mass index (BMI) of more than 25kg/m2 – the point at which normal weight tips into overweight.
People who are overweight should be given greater priority for vaccinations and tests because of their increased risk of death, says the World Obesity Federation.
Among countries where more than half the adult population is overweight, Belgium has the highest level of deaths, followed by Slovenia and the UK. Italy and Portugal are 5th and 6th, while the US is 8th.
Vietnam, by contrast, has the lowest lowest level of overweight in the population and the second lowest Covid death rate in the world.
The director general of the World Health Organization said the report must act as a wake-up call to governments globally to tackle obesity and the poor health it causes.
“The correlation between obesity and mortality rates from Covid-19 is clear and compelling,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Investment in public health and coordinated, international action to tackle the root causes of obesity is one of the best ways for countries to build resilience in health systems post-pandemic: we urge all countries to seize this moment.”
The biggest factor in the death toll is age, says the report, but being overweight comes second. It is already known to increase people’s risk when they contract infectious diseases such as flu.
“We were shocked to see such a high correlation between a country’s proportion of overweight adults and its deaths from Covid-19,” said Dr Tim Lobstein, the report’s author and former adviser to the WHO and Public Health England.
“We knew there was a problem in a few countries, but we found it was remarkably consistent across the globe – with just a few outliers like New Zealand and Iceland, where they have taken strong measures to protect a vulnerable population.”
The risks rise with increasing overweight. An analysis of the data seen by the Guardian shows that in the UK, where almost 64% of adults are overweight or obese, nearly 20% of Covid patients in intensive care are of normal weight, 32% are overweight and 48% are obese. In the USA, where adult overweight and obesity is at 68%, 12% of Covid patients in intensive care have normal weight, 24% are overweight and 64% are obese.
The results allow for age and are not skewed by poor data from some countries, said Lobstein. Deaths tend to be reported accurately even if hospitalisations are not. They adjusted for GDP and found income levels did not play a part either. “There are rich countries with low levels of overweight, like Japan and South Korea, and they have very low Covid death rates. Equally, there are lower-income countries like South Africa and Brazil, where overweight is now affecting more than half the population, where we see high Covid-19 death rates,” he said.
“We now know that an overweight population is the next pandemic waiting to happen,” said Lobstein.
“Governments have been negligent, and ignored the economic value of a healthy population at their peril. For the last decade they have failed to tackle obesity, despite setting themselves targets at United Nations meetings. Covid-19 is only the latest infection exacerbated by weight issues, but the warning signs were there.”
Most countries are set to miss the UN target of halving the increase in obesity levels between 2010 and 2025. “It appears governments want to avoid taking on the commercial interests in food and agriculture. Like global heating and ocean pollution – the problem needs worldwide leadership, ensuring that industry and the market are there to serve people’s health and the health of the planet,” he said.
It was a tough call for individuals, because losing weight is very hard. “People make a living selling individual weight plans, and weight-loss products, but in a society like ours, with its incentives for cheap food consumption and its rising inequalities, personal products are obviously not enough,” he said.
Michael R Bloomberg, WHO ambassador for noncommunicable diseases and injuries, said the results “underscore the importance of fighting obesity around the world, including in lower- and middle-income countries where rates are rising fastest. We’ve seen the positive impact healthy food policies have in dozens of countries, and together we can make even more progress saving and improving lives.”
Coping with feelings of inadequacy is the process of discovering that there is nothing missing in your abilities. Self improvement is simply learning that your creator gave you all, you need to be successful. Thinking that you are inadequate is a misconception. God gives everyone ability. Even disabled people have ability to cope.
You must put aside negative thoughts and think positively.
Sometimes special talents are hidden beneath the surface. They have to be discovered and developed. Others are often looked to for strength.You must look to yourself. Failing at some things does not mean that you have no talent. It simply means that you have not found what you were meant to be. Self respect will come when you discover what comes naturally.
Coping with feelings of inadequacy is finding the task where everything seems to fall into place. You suddenly realize that you are doing well.You do have talent. Finding your talent is finding yourself respect and coping with poor feelings. It doesn’t seem like work, but play. Sadly, some people never take the time to get acquainted with their inner being and never discover their special abilities.
Coping with feelings of inadequacy requires developing talents that you already have but may not know about because you have never discovered. Finding what you do well and enjoy builds up self-esteem and gives confidence. You begin to feel good about yourself and you can relax and enjoy what you are doing. Feelings gradually change from negative to positive.
Self improvement is learning new things. It is not only gaining knowledge, but developing skills. You do not need to look for something missing in your abilities. It is taking advantage of your DNA. There are many different types of jobs. We are all different so that all the positions can be filled. Everyone has built-in skills just waiting to be developed.
You may have skill for a position that has not been needed yet. Things are constantly changing, so be aware of new developments. You may have ability that you have never used.
Your job is to find and develop skills you have. A good way to learn new skills is with hobbies. Do you like to paint, or build things, work puzzles, or solve problems? You may have a skill that is needed in industry.
One of the most important benefits of skills is the good feeling you have about yourself. Life is too short to feel sorry for you. Force yourself to avoid negative thoughts and words. Turn them into positive emotions. This will build up your self respect and will make a big difference in the way you feel. Rest assured that you have everything needed to be successful.
With so many suggestions and tips on the best way to quit smoking it is truly simple to see why numerous individuals really do not stop.
The fact is that with so many details passed around that is puzzling to individuals, it is typically much simpler to continue cigarette smoking and hoping for a simple solution.
But let me state right up front, the best stop smoking aid is your power of choice to do so!
When you ask yourself, how can I quit smoking, understand that really taking the essential actions to actually quit cigarette smoking is not easy, but that you have a willingness and readiness to quit smoking now.
Go within, and is why I urge mindfulness training, ask your inner guidance system– which the Course in Miracles terms the Holy Spirit, to help you.
The Course in Miracles states, “This invitation is accepted immediately, and the Holy Spirit wastes no time in introducing the practical results of asking Him to enter.”
The majority of people are easily aware that the best way to quit smoking is in understanding that smoking can harm their health, but discovering the best stop smoking aid can be quite difficult.
With a lot of temptations flowing around, as well as the tensions of life it is easy to see why jumping into a pack of cigarettes seems like a smart idea.
The best way to quit smoking is in the power of choice to do so.
Simply choosing to give up because the sky is blue is not a sufficient reason. The need to give up cigarette smoking is obvious, but the desire to quit needs to originate from within in order for the process to be successful.
You are not most likely to just stop cold turkey with no complications. Set up small rewards that will assist you to want to make progress to ultimately quitting.
Also of the best way to quit smoking is to plan out your giving up method.
If after a time, state 6 weeks you have not stopped, deal with a new plan.
Work to conquer your struggles to quit smoking now. If you are smoking due to demanding things in your life, you have to deal with the tension prior to, you can effectively stop. Regardless of the reason why you are smoking cigarettes, it needs to be handled in able to stop for good.
Set up a punishment for yourself.
If you typically stop at Starbucks every day for a coffee you might consider avoiding that on days when you have disappointed your goals for smoking cigarettes. Whatever punishment you pick, make sure it is something that you care about.
To quit smoking now ask for assistance from your friends and family. Even when you find the best way to quit smoking, you will need support and assistance as you are aiming to stop, and this will assist you to guarantee that you are not alone in the whole procedure.
Look for somebody to quit along with you. Working to stop smoking is not simple, but hard jobs are much simpler to achieve with a partner.
The task of quitting smoking is rather tough. This is extremely disadvantageous to your objective of stopping cigarette smoking for good.
Aim to quit and never turning back.
This might appear a bit weird, but if you are simply preparing to quit for a weekend you are not going to put much effort into the procedure. If you are planning to quit for excellent, a lot more time and effort is going to go into the procedure as well as your strategy to quit.
Look for methods to take your mind off cigarettes. If you are constantly thinking about cigarettes, you might discover that you are much more lured to smoke.
Reading a book, exercising, talking on the phone, surfing the web and even cooking are all terrific methods to inhabit your mind and keep from considering when your last cigarette was.
The best way to quit smoking is in the power of choice to begin taking action on the needed steps.
The requirement to give up cigarette smoking is apparent, however the desire to quit requirements must come from within you, from your inner core to make the decision, in order for the process to be successful.
Remember, regardless of the reason you are smoking, it needs to be dealt with and surveyed, but without criticizing or judging, in able to give up the smokes for good.
To your power of choice!