The world has been living with COVID-19 for nearly 6 months and we still have a lot to learn about this new virus.
Public health measures have greatly reduced the spread however, there is now a clearer picture developing of the most at-risk groups for serious complications and worse outcomes.
Studies are emerging much more quickly than normal, and data from China, the U.S.A. and UK show that type 2 diabetes is an increased risk factor. Patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes are struggling more with this virus and have a significantly higher risk of a poor outcome from contracting COVID-19.
NHS England states that 26% of virus deaths so far have been patients with type 2 diabetes. Dementia and lung problems are other high-risk conditions.
Around 6% of the UK and Irish population have type 2 diabetes.
The reasons for the higher complications and death rate in type 2 diabetics who contract COVID-19 are not fully understood but may be due to inflammation caused by being obese.
Poorly controlled type 2 diabetics are not as able to fight infection as the rest of the population.
The positive news from these studies is that well controlled type 2 diabetic patients have better outcomes.
This is a worrying time for the whole population but illustrates once again that extra weight carries a health risk. Losing even a small amount of weight if you are type 2 diabetic or obese has a very beneficial effect in lowering the risk of many illnesses, including COVID-19.
What if I just lose 5% of my weight?
If you are more than a few pounds overweight, losing weight can seem like a daunting task.
It’s important to realise that even a 5% weight loss will have a beneficial effect on your overall health.
5% is the magic number to get some of these health benefits:
- feeling better – both physically and mentally
- exercise is easier
- reduce risk of arthritis
- less joint pain
- lower risk of cancer
- reduce risk of type II diabetes
- improved asthma symptoms
- reduce blood pressure
- improvement in sleep apnoea symptoms
- possible improvements in fertility
Setting a target of 5% weight loss is a good place to start when you are really trying to improve your health. Once you’ve reached your 5% target you can set another goal, like another 5%. Use the health benefits as you experience them as your motivation to keep going.
NewWeigh and your pharmacy are always there to help and explain the health benefits of losing weight.
One of the positive outcomes of this pandemic is that people may be more aware about the importance of managing their weight, controlling their type 2 diabetes and actively trying to improve their own health. Maybe try and lose just 5%.
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