Internal medicine physician weighs in on the correlation between obesity and coronavirus

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VIRGINIA (WDVM) — With no end in sight yet to the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are wondering how to protect themselves from getting the virus.

WDVM 25 spoke with Internal Medicine Physician, Dr. Robert Posner, about the correlation between obesity in Americans and coronavirus.

“Obesity itself, diabetes, high blood pressure, lung issues…all of these things are related as co-morbidities to poor weight control,” said Posner. “We make jokes about COVID-19, like ‘it’s okay to gain weight,’ but no, this is really serious stuff.”

Although many people are still nervous to go to the gym to exercise regularly, Posner says that there are other steps besides exercise that can help control weight gain during quarantine.

“We’ve always been told that it’s calories in, calories out, eat less exercise more,” said Posner. “But increasing protein intake, lowering carbohydrates, fruit, fat and alcohol intake is the equation for weight control,” said Posner.

In addition to diet, Posner says that keeping the immune system strong is important to help prevent or lessen the disease. Posner says that weight control, lowering stress, and taking vitamins will boost the immune system.

Posner drives home the point that what differentiates a COVID-19 patient with mild, cold-like symptoms from a patient who ends up on a ventilator usually have weight as a factor.

“We have the most deaths in the world. Why? We are also one of the most obese countries in the world. It’s always been important for people to control weight — but now more than ever, weight control is important.”

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