The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its coronavirus response guidelines, a process we’ve seen many times this year. When new and reliable information surrounding COVID-19 is confirmed, the agency updates the information it releases to the public. However, the updates are not always obvious, for example, the CDC has been adding coronavirus symptoms to the list in recent months without any announcements. Other updates are more controversial, such as proposals for COVID-19 contact testing, or warnings of air transmission routes that are published in advance and then withdrawn.
The CDC’s latest and quietly added information on its page is the most needed data for Americans, as as many as two-thirds of Americans may be involved in the problem, which carries the risk of serious coronavirus complications, all because of the extra weight.
The CDC on Tuesday revised the COVID-19 guidelines and looked at the relationship between weight and the severity of COVID-19, Bloomberg reported. Several studies have shown that obese people are at higher risk of complications, especially men who may not have other obvious conditions. Weight is also a sensitive topic in terms of vaccine efficacy. Overweight people may not respond as well to vaccines as others, whether coronavirus or other vaccines.
After updating its response guidelines, the CDC now says it’s not just obese people who are at risk of severe COVID-19 cases. According to the update, people who are generally overweight may also be at risk. The warning means that about two-thirds of Americans could be at risk.
According to CDC data on obesity and weight, 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese and 32 percent are overweight. The data comes from a 2018 study. The greater the weight, the higher the risk of developing severe COVID-19 that requires hospitalization. The higher the body mass index (BMI), the higher the risk of death. The BMI formula measures the fat ratio by taking into account a person’s weight and height, and a value above 30 can be diagnosed as obese.
The CDC’s COVID-19 risk guidelines say obesity (BMI between 30 and 40) and severe obesity (BMI over 40) are conditions associated with an increased risk of severe COVID-19. “Based on what we know so far, adults of any age may increase their risk of serious diseases that cause coVID-19 virus.” Overweight people (BMI between 25 and 30) are now listed as at risk, the guidelines read.