NORTH CAROLINA — Medical professionals are warning about the strong potential for developing COVID-19 complications in those who are considered medically obese. 


What You Need To Know

  • Those who medically need to lose weight are at a higher risk of hospitalization and even death if they contract the virus

  • Obese patients with COVID-19 have a higher hospitalization risk.

  • About 40% of the U.S. population is considered medically obese. 

“We know that obesity is a strong risk factor for having complications from COVID-19. In fact, if you are less than the age of 60, it is actually the greatest risk factor for dying from COVID,” says Gastroenterologist Dr. Christopher McGowan.

According to Dr. McGowan, patients who contract the virus and are obese have a much higher likelihood of becoming hospitalized, winding up in the ICU, or dying. 

“Obese patients who contract COVID have a higher risk of hospitalization, are twice as likely to be hospitalized, 75% more likely to be in the intensive care unit, and nearly 50% more likely to die,” says McGowan. “And we consider that about 40% of the U.S. population is obese and 30% overweight, these are major numbers and the real problem.”