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Another COVID-19 Myth: Low Body Fat and Healthy Lifestyle Don't Prevent Infection

Another COVID-19 Myth: Low Body Fat and Healthy Lifestyle Don't Prevent Infection
(Wanida Prapan/Dreamstime.com)

Thursday, 30 July 2020 03:37 PM

Several posts on Facebook claim being thin and having a healthy lifestyle are protective traits that reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19. According to Forbes, statistically, obesity is the most common risk factor for severe disease with over 30% of the population affected, but experts warn that doesn’t translate into immunity for people in a healthy weight range. You don’t get a COVID-19 pass just because you are fit.

According to USA Today, one of the Facebook posts, from Psychedelic Adventure said:

“Not sure if you want to hear his, but if you have an immune system and if you managed your weight, avoided processed foods, didn’t drink alcohol, exercise regularly, get proper sleep, get sunlight, consume no sugar and actually give a damn about your health, your immune system and body will do its job and you won’t have to be afraid of a virus or disease.”

Another said, “The virus is only killing off obese people who never lifted weights or worked out a day in their lives,” according to USA Today. Both claims are not based on evidence, and there have been numerous reports of marathon runners, body builders and other highly fit individuals who not only have contracted COVID-19 but also have suffered severe, life-threatening complications.

For example, Joshua Fisk, a 47-year-old urologist and marathon runner, nearly died after a bout with COVID-19 resulted in a lingering 104-degree fever that lasted for days.

“Nobody is immune to COVID, unless they’ve had it already,” Dr. Leora Horwitz, of the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Science at NYU Langone, told USA Today. “It doesn’t matter how healthy you are, how young you are, how few diseases you have, how many marathons you’ve run—nobody’s immune.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists medical conditions that increase your risk of severe illness that include not only obesity, but also cancer, kidney disease, serious heart conditions and other underlying medical conditions.

While healthy people may be at lower risk for COVID-19, they may also be virus spreaders and should follow the recommended safety guidelines of wearing masks and observing social distancing like everyone else, said Horwitz, according to USA Today.

“We owe it to our community to do what we can to reduce the burden of disease for everybody, not just for us individually ourselves,” she said.

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Several posts on Facebook claim being thin and having a healthy lifestyle are protective traits that reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19...
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2020-37-30
Thursday, 30 July 2020 03:37 PM
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