World's most obese nations accounted for 90% of COVID-19 deaths

by Joel Abbott · Mar 5th, 2021 12:30 pm

Last Updated Mar 5th, 2021 at 8:27 pm

Countries where at least half of the adult population is overweight accounted for 90% of all 2.5 million global COVID-19 deaths, according to the World Obesity Federation.

The organization said the death rate is 10 times higher in these nations. The U.S. and U.K. alone, which both have high rates of obesity, account for over a quarter of all deaths.

Other nations at the top of the list included Belgium, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Italy. All of these countries have high obesity rates.

In comparison, countries with lower obesity rates such as Thailand, Burundi, and China have seen drastically lower death rates, although nations such as China have been criticized for drastically underreporting their cases.

In Singapore, for example, there was a death rate of only 0.51 per 100,000 people, compared to 152 per 100,000 in the U.S.

Some nations like the U.K. are prescribing diets and launching health campaigns to address obesity as a way to lower the risk of hospitalization and death from the virus.

Although obesity has been linked to greater risk from the novel coronavirus since last April, the director-general of the World Health Organization said the new report comes as a "wake-up call."

"This report must act as a wake-up call to governments globally," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "The correlation between obesity and mortality rates from COVID-19 is clear and compelling."

He went on to say that nations must "build resilience in health systems post-pandemic" to address the issue.


There are 24 comments on this article.

You must become a subscriber or login to view or post comments on this article.