Obesity Triples Severe COVID Risk and Prior COVID Infected Are 3 Times Safer Than Vaccinated

Covid-19 death rates are 10 times higher in countries where more than half of the adult population is classified as overweight according to a comprehensive report from the World Obesity Federation has found.

Many people want to point to some moral failing to not comply with mask usage or insufficient vaccination as the reason for increased COVID deaths in a particular state or country. Lower mask usage can be a reason for increased numbers of cases but hospitalization and deaths are more because of obesity and vaccinations.

The obesity report analyzed mortality data from Johns Hopkins University and the WHO Global Health Observatory data on obesity. At the time 2.5 million covid-19 deaths were reported at the end of February 2021 and 2.2 million were in countries where over half the population is classified as overweight—defined as a body mass index above 25. There was not a single example of a country with less than 40% of the population overweight that has high death rates (over 10 per 100 000), the report said. Similarly, no country with a death rate over 100 per 100 000 had less than 50% of their population overweight.

There are those who say that the deaths per 100,000 being lower in California (2045 per 100k) than Texas (2771 per 100k) is due to stricter mask policies or vaccination rates in California. However, the obesity rate in California is 26% while the obesity rate in Texas is 34%.

Why would mask policies matter if almost all people were wearing ineffective cloth masks or non-surgical grade of N95 masks?
Why would mask policies matter if most people wear masks in a way that would not actually prevent spread? They were not leaving bruises on their face with N95 masks tightened to leave no air gap?
Currently, COVID19 cases are reported in about 20-32% of people depending upon the state. There seems to be no difference in the disease transmission of omicron between states with different masking policies. Texas and California are identical in transmission.

Statistic: Rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United States as of February 3, 2022, by state (per 100,000 people) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

A ten percent difference in vaccination rate is relatively meaningless for overall hospitalization and deaths. 60% vaccinated or 70% vaccinated is relatively meaningless. However, having twice the obesity rate (50% vs 25%) and more of those people being severely obese instead of a little obese was a greater determination of COVID death rates.

However, there is more correlation with higher obesity rates.

There are other factors with a greater impact than mask usage levels.

CDC Says Obesity Worsens Outcomes from COVID-19
Adults with excess weight are at even greater risk during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Having obesity increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. People who are overweight may also be at increased risk.
Having obesity may triple the risk of hospitalization due to a COVID-19 infection.
Obesity is linked to impaired immune function.
Obesity decreases lung capacity and reserve and can make ventilation more difficult.

Previous COVID Infections Provided 2-4 Times More Protection Than Vaccination

However, vaccinations are less protective than having contracted and survived COVID before.

A study published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report looked at vaccinated and unvaccinated adults from May to November 2021, before and after delta’s summer surge. By the fall, people who’d had a previous case of Covid, vaccinated or not, were far less likely to be diagnosed with the disease than those who’d only been vaccinated.

In October, vaccination only reduced Covid rates by 6.2-fold in California and 4.5-fold in New York, compared with the unvaccinated people who had never been infected.

Among people with previous Covid-19 diagnoses who hadn’t been vaccinated, those rates were 29-fold lower in California and 14.7-fold lower in New York, compared with the unvaccinated, previously uninfected group. At the same time, vaccination plus a prior diagnosis reduced case rates by 32.5-fold in California and 19.8-fold in New York.

Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

61 thoughts on “Obesity Triples Severe COVID Risk and Prior COVID Infected Are 3 Times Safer Than Vaccinated”

  1. Why would you give up on steak and eggs?
    If you said processed food and foods high in salt and sugar, you'd have been closer to the mark.

  2. Useless masks worn by people who don't understand what a mask is or how breathing works so they don't cover their nose or they remove it every 30 seconds… that's useless.
    A proper mask worn properly has a very real effect on infection rates.

  3. I hope you are aware that steak and eggs are NOT the foods that promote obesity. A more accurate way to say it would have been giving up bread, pasta, and dessert for all salads.

  4. Combinatorics: gregm has a valid point. Brian apparently does not have enough time to carefully check what he writes to try to minimize confusion or misinterpretation. Pointing that out probably can't hurt, but it probably won't result in any change in Brian's writing, either. Regular readers here should be well aware of that characteristic of Brian's writing. Alerting new readers to it probably is useful.

  5. Substituting most common foods with a salad will reduce the calorie intake and hence lead to weight loss. Regardless of the decade one tries this in.

    Though, giving up tasty steaks and eggs and eating all salads could lead to mental problems, so …

  6. I think the point is that for some people, going out and eating in a crowded bar is just Tuesday. Or at least Friday.
    And those people would be better off (in terms of Covid at least) if they switched to the other behaviour.

    Or, you know, cooked the meal themselves, saving both money and probably getting a healthier food selection.

  7. i'm sorry but its just insane to say that vaccinations caused higher death rates due to covid.

    I read the entire article twice to see if I missed it, but nowhere in there does it say what you are complaining about.

  8. Sorry, but I just don't believe you.

    A few seconds internet search gave me millions of public media statements from the USA telling people to

    • Eat a better diet
    • Do more exercise
    • And just plain lose weight.

    These range from an enormous number of private companies advertising such advice all the way through to statements by the Surgeon general (not actually a surgeon, but that's off topic).

  9. the frequency of hospitalization for children with omicron is significant enough to warrant vaccination. And then there is long Covid.

  10. Put on your big boy pants and look at all the variables instead of focusing on one.

    There will be a life post covid and losing weight is good for that time as well as during the era of covid.

    Seriously- weight loss, exercise, vitamins, sleep. These are good things even when there isn't a pandemic. There will be future flu viruses, knee replacement isn't fun, diabetes is a killer regardless of covid, etc, etc, etc.

    Speaking as an American for Americans we generally suck at healthy lifestyles.

  11. Yeah seeing Vitamins, weight loss, sleep and exercise being dismissed as fake news has been novel.

    "All these things are good except for when it comes to covid. The only solutions to covid are isolation and vaccination!"

  12. Maybe on one of the platforms where any attempt at discussing these things got shut down as "disinformation"?

  13. Heck, I'm in my 60's, and I thought it was a no-brainer. I just had the bad luck to contract Covid just before the vaccine became available to my cohort where I lived. Rendering getting vaccinated redundant.

  14. That's quite possible; I understand tests on archived samples have shown it made it into the US by then.

    China made a really serious effort to delay the rest of the world learning about this disease until it would be too late to isolate it.

  15. I can see your interpretation but its very sloppy wording on a very important subject. Maybe its just me, but I've had my bellyful of vaccine misinformation from youtube pundits, and seeing something that looks like it on this site just hit a raw nerve.

  16. 75% of people who have died of the virus in the United States — or about 600,000 of the nearly 800,000 who have perished so far — have been 65 or older. One in 100 older Americans has died from the virus. For people younger than 65, that ratio is closer to 1 in 1,400.

    First try not being old, then try salads.

  17. is absolutely SHOCKING that these factors are only being discussed now.

    Where were you the past few years.

  18. The marginal gain from being vaccinated if you've already had covid is fairly small; It's not zero, but it isn't anything impressive. What Brian neglects to mention is that this increase in protection is bought at the risk of a higher probability of an adverse vaccine reaction.

    But the point here is that, since prior infection is more protective than vaccination, there is no rational basis for refusing to treat people who can prove prior infection as though they've been vaccinated. It's utterly irrational!

    And, indeed, most countries do treat proof of prior infection as equivalent to proof of vaccination. It's the US that's the odd man out.

  19. Pretty sure I had COVID in fall 2019 over New Years into 2020, before it supposedly ever made it to the U.S. (as it wouldn't surprise me if it had been here much earlier– I have zero evidence of that, of course, so I'm just blowing smoke).

  20. "However, vaccinations are less protective than having contracted and survived COVID before."

    That isn't a knock on vaccination, just saying that your body's natural immunity post covid infection is better than vaccionation.

    Of course you have to first get and recover from covid to have natural immunity so take that in to consideration as sometimes unvaccinated people who contract covid never make it to the "natural immunity" stage of life…

  21. 1) The risk of vaccination is low to individuals
    2) The best protection is vaccination coupled with prior infection
    3) It is easier to prove prior vaccination than prior infection
    4) Many individuals may be motived to falsely claim prior infection to avoid vaccination

    These statements would leave me to believe that requiring vaccination regardless of prior infection is a sound policy. This is not a logic stretch, so maybe it is best you are retired.

  22. One would expect prior infection to reduce the chance that you will die of a subsequent infection simply because if it could kill you, it would most likely have killed you the first time. But the vaccinated person has a much better chance of surviving their vaccination. A good fraction of those vaccinated might have died, if they had been infected instead. I think it was close to 1/3 of the 85+ crowd. The vaccine is not 100% effective. It is only 90-95% effective, so some of those unhealthy and old that would have died had they gotten the real thing before they were vaccinated are still vulnerable.
    There are also things you can do to improve the likelihood that the vaccine will work in you. It is good to get a good night's sleep the night before you are vaccinated, maybe several nights before. And eat all the important nutrients especially zinc and vitamin D. You want your body to fight what it is mistaking as an infection…to treat it like an infection.
    If you had almost no reaction to your second shot, I would certainly get a booster. And wear an N95 mask and properly when going to get that shot.

  23. You don't have to shame people for being overweight or obese, express contempt for the obese, or even engage in the blame game.
    Genetics is a thing. Some people have been abused. And there are likely viruses that cause obesity. Adenoviruses 5, 36, & 37 have been implicated.
    That said, everyone is capable of making at least small improvements, and small improvements can make a big difference. https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-five-percent-weight-loss

  24. No, he's correct in identifying the relevant variables, he just neglects to mention obesity drives hospitalization and death in one direction, and vaccination in the other.

  25. The litigious reality we live in prevents Americans from telling Americans to exercise and if overweight to lose weight. Everything has to come from a doctor. We can't say, "Hey, here is a website that will tell you whether you are obese or overweight." People can't be trusted to weigh themselves and enter the number, and compare that BMI to a the values for overweight and obese. Only a doctor can say "Oh, look at this, apparently you are obese. Go figure. I suggest some changes in food choices and exercise".
    Sure there are people with bad hearts, very high blood pressure and other conditions where exercise is not a good idea, but if they have seen a doctor they almost certainly would have already told them exercise is not for them, until some conditions improve.
    Hmm, maybe I don't know what I am talking about. It looks like most of the comorbidities are the conditions that people are supposed to consult their doctor before exercising, if they have them…except arthritus: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20047414
    Still, I gotta think that a lot of these people have already been given the go ahead, implored to, or given the message to avoid exercise. And if it is just arthritis that is preventing exercise, a sauna or Jacuzzi might have similar benefits to exercise without the joint movement.
    I guess we have to ask mommy if we can go out and play. Personally, I would rather die exercising than gasping on a respirator for two weeks.

  26. Also, I doubt those exercising at fitness centers were the same people dying of Covid months or a year later.
    It is mostly younger people at fitness centers, and a few older people who have been exercising for decades. But they are active people who would have spread Covid everywhere to many unhealthy people very rapidly, probably exceeding hospital space.

  27. No, the disease spread at exercise centers the easiest. They had to be shut down.
    We needed to encourage exercise at our homes, and show people how to use everyday items to exercise safely in the home.
    I made this suggestion many times. My main beef with Fouchi is his unwillingness to tell people to get healthier…quit smoking…quit drinking…eat less processed meat…eat raw nuts and seeds…grow sprouts…exercise…of course…start slow but progress. And loose at least 10% of body fat, if overweight.
    He told people to drink, if they were feeling anxious. And by extension people drank, smoked, and used. Self-medicate. Stimulus party.
    I saw people right after the stimulus at Sam's Club with grocery carts filled with liqueur.
    I pointed out that despite Utah getting a lot of Covid early before we even found out which treatment to use, cutting deaths by 2/3, they were dying at a far slower rate.
    It also appeared to me that places with cleaner air did better. HEPA air filters might have made a difference in both providing cleaner air in homes work, stores and cars, and removing the virus from the air. Making these machines might have done more than making millions of ventilators, that are mostly sitting in storage.
    All the wrong messages.
    I don't care if he does none of this himself. A hypocrite that saves lives is better than someone who refrains from saying the truth, because they are worried they will look like a hypocrite.

  28. nextbigfuture – you should really rephrase your wording. " Lower mask usage can be a reason for increased numbers of cases but hospitalization and deaths are more because of obesity and vaccinations.".

    You are correct about obesity. You are not correct about vaccinations.

  29. unvaccinated, no prior infection – highest risk of severe illness
    vaccinated – safer by 6-20 times
    prior infection – 2-3 times safer than vaccinated vs severe illness
    vaccinated with prior infection safest from severe illness

    I did say unvaccinated without prior infection is most at risk.

    The point is prior infected should be treated like vaccinated. for example, Novak Djokovik with two prior cases of COVID is more protected than someone with just a vaccination. Policies should not be punishing those who previously had COVID but no vaccination as if they were unvaccinated with no prior infection.

    Also, getting vaccinated or boosted can temporarily reduce the immune system (for about 2 weeks). When 30-50% of the people are getting it then it is too late for the booster program in terms of an overall plan. It should be up to individuals and doctors considering obesity, prior conditions etc…

  30. No, and no. This is a topic of current controversy. My own experience has been that exercise works.

    This may be because I wasn't inactive to begin with, and am careful about my nutritional status. I suppose it's possible that a couch potato with a bad diet might have a different experience.

  31. There are easy things you can do to lower your risk. One is to wear a mask. The other is don't eat in a restaurant or drink in a bar. Order take out.

  32. You know what? Some people ARE 'just plain lazy'. And it's silly not to take notice of that.

    I didn't say I had little trouble getting over it. A week after I'd had Covid I could get winded walking to the end of the driveway and bringing back the empty garbage can.

    I put in a lot of really unpleasant exercise to get over it. It's not fun to keep plugging away even when you're out of breath.

  33. At the start of this we were camping in a state park, and they were literally closing it behind us as we left. On the drive home the topic of how stupid that was DID come up.

    I live in the Piedmont region of South Carolina. You look at the graphs, the seasonal component is absurdly clear, we've had a peak every summer during airconditioning season, and every winter during the heating season, and Covid has basically gone away whenever the weather was good enough that people were spending time outdoors.

    I suspect some major HVAC upgrades and a campaign to get people to spend more time outside would have been more effective than all the economy crashing lockdowns.

  34. What Brian was saying was clear enough. There are idiots all around.

    There are idiots who think that, if natural immunity is stronger, you're better off getting Covid than the vaccine. Maybe if you're in a really low risk category, but certainly not generally!

    There are also idiots who think that, since getting the vaccine is safer than obtaining natural immunity, we should ignore natural immunity and treat people who haven't been vaccinated the same whether or not they've already had Covid, and demand they get the vaccine anyway.

    The difference is that the second set of idiots are in charge of CDC policy.

  35. Depends on your age and your general health. If you're a kid then there is no benefit in getting the vaccine. If you're 80 with three co-morbidities then the vaccine is a no-brainer

  36. Yes but there is a misleading message that many people interpret from Brian’s point which is that perhaps it’s better to get COVID than the vaccine. Of course it isn’t.

  37. You know you can both be right, seeing how Brian is discussing immunity from previous infection and your quote discusses the outcome with a lack of infection.

  38. You have to get bloodwork done to check for antibodies. You need to wait 2 weeks until after you think you had covid.

  39. My 75 year old father in law won't vaccinate so my wife and put him on a keto diet, bought him food, bought him a convenient oven for cooking food, got him to get his weight down, eat vitamins, lower his blood pressure and go for daily walks.

    After a year he had dropped his weight, had normal blood pressure and was feeling better than he had in years. Looked great too!

    Two weeks ago he came down with Omicron. For him it was an incomprehensibly *mild* cold. He had a minor cough and that was quite literally his only symptom. No fever, no chills, no aches, no other symptoms- nothing. His main worry was boredom because he had to stay at home.

    Seriously folks drop the weight and get regular Vitamin D. The virus kills fatties. Obesity is an omnibus comorbidity. Obesity brings high blood pressure, reduced immune functioning, etc.

  40. But Masks also show reduction in transmission even if used lousily. People who live in a world of one cause and one effect, one car company, bad tycoons and good tycoons are promoting ignorance mindlessness and obedience in this world.

  41. Second part of the article title and content is misleading. The author implies that having previously had COVID is safer than getting vaccinated. From the same CDC study the author is referencing, this figure shows that cases of unvaccinated individuals with no previously diagnosed infection has a much higher hospitalization rate than any other type of case by at least an order of magnitude.

  42. Ironically, leaving the house to exercise would have saved more lives than the lockdocks that contributed to obesity and probably made things worse.

  43. Bill Maher got slammed for doing it last year, honestly I think this research kinda vindicates him on that issue.

    Take that James Corden!

    That being said the accusations are likely sponsored by the people that cause it in the first place – aka the less than health concerned US food industry.

  44. He did say "mild or no", so if 1/3 are no and a few mild, it would be "most" total. And most are mild depending on definition of mild. .

  45. So what you are saying is that because you personally had little problem getting over post infection symptoms of COVID that everyone else claiming long COVID symptoms are just plain lazy?

    That's about as scientific as the people still claiming that COVID is made up just because they haven't had it yet.

    Considering how fast you claim to have gotten over the infection its hardly a surprise that the post infection symptoms did not last.

    It's reasonable to assume that since statistics show obesity affects susceptibility to hospitalization and death from the infection itself that other factors can influence the prevalence of persistent post infection symptoms.

  46. Of course, the United States has one of the highest rates of obesity in the industrialized world. But if you mention the negative health effects of obesity in the US, you're accused of body shaming:-)

  47. 1 in 3 people was the estimated figure I heard for asymptomatic infections.

    Hardly "most people".

    An antibody test can show if you have previously had COVID in the UK.

  48. is absolutely SHOCKING that these factors are only being discussed now. Thanks to doing my own research I was well aware of obesity being a major factor in COVID related deaths. Vitamin D deficiency is another.

    However what will perhaps be more shocking, that instead of suggesting improved diet and exercise, MSM will encourage the obese to get stomach stapling surgeries or similar.

  49. Well, I for one went into work one day last February, feeling fine. By noon I was feeling a bit off, by 3 I was sick enough to leave work early. A test the next day confirmed Covid.

    A couple days of bad head cold later, I was feeling OK again, aside from a very noticeable lack of stamina, which exercise took care of; By August I was hiking the Cedar Breaks in Utah, at 10K feet, without trouble. I expect the "long Covid" people really are not getting off their rears and pushing themselves.

    So I've no doubt, but if you haven't obviously had it, the tests to confirm it are a bit expensive.

  50. Good question. It’s always been assumed that actual infection rates were much higher than positive testing rates at any given time. How does this data count it? Presumably the majority of previously infected people don’t know they had it.

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