More than 15,000 obesity hospital admissions a year in Hampshire

MORE than 15,000 hospital admissions in Hampshire each year are a result of obesity, figures show. Charity Diabetes UK said the Government needs to do more to prevent the problem nationally by pursuing its commitment to slashing childhood obesity rates, while the NHS said the issue is putting "unnecessary strain" on health services. NHS Digital data reveals that in Hampshire there were 15,270 hospital admissions where obesity was the primary or secondary cause in 2018-19. That was 1,106 in every 100,000 residents – up from the previous year's figure of 968. Three years earlier, the rate was 765. Data also shows that women accounted for 9,730 (64%) of Hampshire's obesity-related hospital admissions in 2018-19. There was huge disparity in rates across England, with the most deprived areas worse affected than those with low deprivation levels. The South East had the lowest rate of the country's nine regions, with a rate of 1,176 per 100,000 population. That was nearly half the East Midlands's rate, which was 2,343. ADVERTISING Nationally, there were 876,000 admissions due to obesity in 2018-19, a 23% increase on 2017-18. Helen Kirrane, head of policy, campaigns and mobilisation at Diabetes UK, said the rise means more people are getting access to the treatment they need. ADVERTISING She said: "We know that primary admissions for obesity are up, but these are predominantly related to people having bariatric surgery. “Secondary admissions for obesity have also risen significantly, but the caveat here is that a lot of that is probably due to better recording of obesity as a factor in an admission. “We are currently living in uncertain times, but we shouldn’t forget that people are still living with and developing obesity and its related conditions such as type 2 diabetes. She added that it is "vital" the Government follows through on its childhood obesity plan commitments, while the NHS and councils should support people to manage their weight. A review into how obesity, alongside other factors including ethnicity and gender, affect a person's vulnerability to the coronavirus has been announced by Public Health England. PHE said the review will provide insight into emerging evidence the virus is having a disproportionate effect on different groups. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the "extremely important and hugely complex task" is part of a continued effort to reduce health inequalities across the country. An NHS spokesperson said: “With a 20% increase in hospital admissions over the last five years directly linked to obesity, it is clear that obesity is causing diseases including cancer, heart attacks, stroke and type 2 diabetes, while putting unnecessary strain on NHS services. “The NHS is playing its part through our long-term plan, but other industries must also step up and prevent the harm obesity is causing, particularly to young people.” 5 comments New Smart Bracelet Repels Mosquitos Without Chemical Sprays MOSQUITO BLOCK | SPONSORED The Senior Dating Site for Mature Singles SILVERSINGLES | SPONSORED Face Masks Are Being Recommended In Bridport - Get Yours Here! PACAMASK | SPONSORED Computer Users Should See This Before Going Online TOTAL AV | SPONSORED Arthritis or Joint Pain? Doctor Says Do This First Thing Each Morning JUPITER LABORATORIES JOINTFUEL360 SUPPLEMENT | SPONSORED Turmeric Relieves Joint Pain - Overnight! 100% Natural & Safe JUPITER LABORATORIES JOINTFUEL360 SUPPLEMENT | SPONSORED Most Computer Users Don't Know This (Do It Today) TOTALAV | SPONSORED This New Psoriasis Medical Device Class 1 Treatment Combines CBD CANZON | SPONSORED Revealed: The richest people in Hampshire (and why the lockdown has hit their fortunes) HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE Coronavirus: Hampshire death toll stands at 551 HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE One more patient dies of coronavirus in Hampshire HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE No decision made on whether Hampshire schools will reopen on June 1, council says HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE Home bakers bringing smiles with cakes for NHS staff HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE MOST READ COMMENTED 1 More shops and businesses partially opening in Winchester 2 Missing: Appeal launched to find missing Trinity Robin 3 Winchester has amongst the highest Covid-19 rates in the UK 4 Bomb squad called after dummy WWII mortar shell found in a ditch next to major road 5 Symonds students shine in national spotlight 6 This Winchester schoolboy, 7, interviewed the most popular PE teacher in the UK 7 More than 15,000 obesity hospital admissions a year in Hampshire 8 Covid-19 frontline doctor vows to resign if Dominic Cummings keeps job 9 How to make sure a tap is safe to use after being untouched during lockdown 10 The reason why hand sanitiser shouldn't be left in your car Read more Get involved with the news in your community Send your stories and photos now

We must win obesity war for the NHS: Third of COVID-19 deaths linked to diabetes

Pause Mute Fullscreen Sign up for FREE now and never miss the top Royal stories again! Enter your email address here SUBSCRIBE We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. PROMOTED STORY [Photos] Remember Her? Take a Look at Her Today (History Chronicle) He said: "We are determined to tackle the problem of obesity, and I am looking very closely at evidence it can worsen the effects of coronavirus. "I'm convinced we need to reverse obesity rates to make our NHS fit for the future, and I look forward to working with the Prime Minister to meet our goal." Mr Hancock's vow comes after Boris Johnson's stint in intensive care with the virus triggered people to claim his weight could have been a factor. RELATED ARTICLES British public’s forgotten bank accounts to be raided for coronavirus Coronavirus breakthrough: Vaccine by September after $1BN fund from US Health campaigners are now demanding a public inquiry into Britain's fatal obsession with junk food and sugar. NHS cardiologist and anti-sugar campaigner Dr Aseem Malhotra said: "Thousands of people have likely unnecessarily died prematurely from COVID-19, despite years of warnings from doctors to introduce policies to curb obesity and improve healthy eating. "This needs to be fully investigated with an urgent public inquiry as to why it was allowed to happen." NHS England research shows that 7,466 people who died in hospital with COVID-19 also had Type 2 diabetes, while 365 victims had Type 1. The cause for Type 1 is not properly understood but is believed to be genetic. It is not linked to lifestyle factors like diet and exercise. Matt Hancock, the health secretary Matt Hancock, the health secretary (Image: No 10) Type 2 could be partly genetic but is mainly due to excess body weight and physical inactivity. In both types, the body cannot maintain healthy blood glucose levels. NHS England found that even when all other factors were taken into account, higher blood glucose levels and obesity were linked to greater risk of dying from coronavirus. Dr Malhotra wants this to be a watershed moment in Britain's approach to fighting expanding waistlines. He said: "I'm not against people indulging in occasional treats but evidence reveals half of our diet comes from ultraprocessed junk. "The greatest threat to sustainability of the NHS is the obesity crisis, so if we want to fix healthcare, we need to fix the food we eat. "Evidence suggests tackling ultra-processed food would have a substantial impact on reducing the burden of chronic metabolic diseases [including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke] that are crippling our health service. "There's no better time to start a public health revolution." Almost four million people have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the UK, with the number set to rocket to 5.5 million by 2030. It costs the NHS £14billion a year – £1million every hour – and can cause blindness, amputations, heart disease and kidney failure. At least another million people have the disease but don't realise. A further 12.5 million are at risk because of unhealthy lifestyles. Being overweight makes it harder for the diaphragm and lungs to expand, reducing oxygen supply to vital organs. This could be why COVID-19, which is a respiratory disease, hits Type 2 diabetics particularly hard. Obesity also makes immune systems less able to deal with new attacks by bugs. Campaigners said a central problem was decades-long confusion over public health messages on which foods are best. Dr Malhotra's diet promotes vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, dairy and plenty of protein from pulses, fish, meat, and eggs. In a letter to the Health Secretary, who lost 2st by following his diet, Dr Malhotra said it was "irrefutable that metabolic disease is a leading cause of mortality from COVID-19". Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London, said: "Obesity and poor diet is emerging as one of the biggest risk factors for a severe response to COVID-19 infection that can no longer be ignored."

Bariatric specialists at a Sunderland research centre have welcomed national calls for a more robust approach to tackling obesity

ata suggests that obese people develop more severe Covid-19 symptoms, coupled with a higher death rate. There are now calls for an increase in bariatric surgery to avoid unnecessary suffering, save lives, develop a healthier population and protect the NHS. The Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute (HMNCRI), which sits within the University of Sunderland’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences, focuses on research in areas including bariatric surgical care. Academics there, who are part of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) have supported a letter to the Prime Minister this week, asking for urgent action by the NHS to rapidly introduce effective treatment for severe obesity. The Prime Minister has announced plans to launch an anti-obesity strategy after believing his weight was partly the reason he ended up in intensive care with coronavirus. BOMSS National Research Lead, Dr Yitka Graham, is Head of the HMNCRI, an Associate Professor in Health Services Research, and is part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Obesity Stigma. She has carried out extensive research into bariatric and metabolic surgery for adult obesity, holding a research post in one of the UK’s leading Bariatric Surgical Unit at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust for the last eight years. She explained: “The decision to have weight-loss surgery is not an easy one to make, and usually follows when other methods of weight-loss have been attempted but have not achieved significant weight-loss. “Bariatric surgery is an intervention that requires life-long changes which impact all aspects of peoples’ lives. It is not a ‘quick fix’ and many people are judged for taking what is wrongly seen as an ‘easy way’ of weight loss, which is simply not true. It requires strength and life-long commitment. In this current pandemic, bariatric surgery is a weight-loss option which has potential to save lives in more ways than one. It’s more important than ever to support people living with obesity.” According to BOMSS, bariatric surgery produces beneficial improvements in type 2 diabetes within days of surgery, significant weight loss within 12 weeks and ongoing continued health improvements including remission of type 2 diabetes in 70% of patients, reduction in the number of heart attacks and strokes and increased life expectancy. Mr Kamal Mahawar, Chair of the Patient Safety Committee for BOMSS and a Consultant Bariatric Surgeon at Sunderland Royal Hospital, said: “Bariatric surgery has been postponed across the world as a result of Covid-19. We need to look at how we can safely restart this surgery in the UK. With an in-hospital mortality rate of 0.1% in the UK, bariatric surgery is one of the safest surgical interventions known to mankind. It reduces mortality, cancer risks and improves a number of other health conditions related to obesity such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. It is also cost effective and generally pays back for itself in the first few years owing to improved health status.” Kamal Mahawar Sarah Le Brocq, Director of Obesity UK, said: “People living with obesity are faced with stigma and discrimination on a daily basis. Society doesn’t understand the complexities of obesity and are told the solution is ‘eat less, move more’. This is absolutely not the case, there are over 100 factors that contribute to why someone lives with obesity (Foresight Report 2007). Bariatric surgery is a tool that can help people manage their weight, but it still requires life-long changes and is absolutely not a ‘quick fix’. “Obesity UK hope the Government will increase access to weight management services in the UK, so people living with obesity can get equitable access to support.” David Kerrigan, President of BOMSS, said: “Bariatric surgery is recognised by NICE as a cost-effective healthcare intervention and offers strong and sustained weight loss and improvement of obesity-related diseases. It should not be perceived as a ‘quick fix’ in terms of an easy solution for people living with obesity, but in terms of having potential to provide an intervention which is by far the most effective treatment for obesity that we have in the fight against the suffering and death being wreaked by Covid-19.” In his letter to the Prime Minister, David said: “We would welcome your support in pushing for prioritisation of effective NICE-approved treatments for obesity and in particular bariatric surgery during the forthcoming NHS restart, along with rapid expansion of the number of procedures commissioned. BOMSS believes that as a minimum the UK should be carrying out 20,000 bariatric procedures per annum and that we have the manpower and infrastructure to deliver this.” He added: “We would be delighted to assist you in any way to secure your goal of improving the health of the British people afflicted by the dual modern curses of obesity and Covid-19.” The Prime Minister reportedly weighed 17½st when he was taken to hospital with coronavirus last month. At 5ft 9in tall, this would mean his Body Mass Index (BMI) was 36, which is in the obese range. Under his plan, the Government will invest in “preventative and personalised solutions” to help people lose weight and live more active lives.

Boris Johnson to launch anti-obesity drive after coronavirus scare

The Prime Minister reportedly admitted he weighed 17½st when he was taken to hospital with coronavirus last month. At 5ft 9in tall, this would mean his Body Mass Index (BMI) was 36, which is in the obese range. Statistics show that being overweight increases the risk of hospitalisation from Covid-19. Since his illness, Mr Johnson is believed to have lost a stone. RELATED ARTICLES Boris plans war against obesity after blaming COVID-19 near death ITV GMB's Dr Hilary warns of key obesity factor coronavirus targets Under his plan, the Government will invest in "preventative and personalised solutions" to help people lose weight and live more active lives. Mr Johnson's spokesman said: "It is critical to understand how different factors such as ethnicity, deprivation, age, gender and obesity could be disproportionately impacting how people are affected by coronavirus. "Public Health England launched a review into the factors affecting health outcomes from Covid-19, to include ethnicity, gender and obesity. This will be published by the end of May. "As we outlined in our Recovery Strategy, this Government will invest in preventative and personalised solutions to ill-health, helping individuals to live healthier and more active lives." The Prime Minister revealed his plan when he was grilled by the 1922 Committee of Tory backbench MPs yesterday. One MP who took part in the virtual meeting said: "His time in hospital has obviously had a big impact on him and it is influencing his thinking on future policy, which is a good thing, particularly when it concerns the health of the nation." PROMOTED STORY 1 Clever Trick All PC Owners Should Do Today 1 Clever Trick All PC Owners Should Do Today (Online Savers) Experts welcomed the news too and said there should be a focus on helping people shed pounds as well as preventing them from becoming overweight in the first place. They also said the food industry could do more to prevent people turning to unhealthy options while in lockdown. Malcolm Clark, policy manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "There are things the industry can do right now to support a healthy weight. Boris Johnson British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images) "These include ensuring they do not have high fat or sugar promotions and that when they are doing their marketing and advertising, they are not pushing the most sugary options." The Prime Minister's drive comes after he pledged to review the so-called sin taxes, including the levy on sugary drinks, during the Tory leadership race last year. Caroline Cerny, at Obesity Health Alliance, said the apparent reversal in policy was "really welcome news", adding: "We know that having obesity can increase the risk of developing other types of disease, and now it is looking likely it is also linked to complications from Covid-19. "So it's really welcome news that the Government is planning to focus attention on this important health issue." Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at the University of Oxford, said the food industry could do more to ensure people don't overeat during lockdown. There are a number of preventative measures the Government could introduce, she added, including putting calorie labels on all foods and menus and restricting promotions and advertising on unhealthy foods. She said: "There is discussion about restricting TV advertising at a time when everyone is stuck at home and are more exposed to food advertising.

Slimming World welcomes Boris Johnson's pledge to tackle obesity

As the Prime Minister demands action to tackle the UK’s obesity crisis, Slimming World, the UK’s leading weight loss organisation, is poised to return to groups as soon as it is safe to do so, to support the millions of people whose weight puts them at the greatest risk of being most severely affected by Covid-19. In the meantime, Slimming World has temporarily transformed its in-person groups to a ‘virtual' group service, which gives vital support to members as they do their best to maintain a healthy weight during lockdown. The latest Covid-19 statistics show that managing a healthy weight has never been more important to public health. Early evidence on the spectrum of symptoms caused by Covid-19 has identified that people with obesity could have an increased risk of dying from the virus by 37 per cent. Slimming World is an essential partner in helping people at extra risk from Covid-19 In addition, recent statistics from the Office of National Statistics show that 25% of those who died because of Covid-19 were people with diabetes, Type 2 diabetes being a condition commonly linked with obesity.

Sugars and obesity

Obesity Worldwide Obesity has tripled worldwide since 1975 in all divisions of society. In 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated there were 1.9 billion overweight adults in the world, 650 million of which were obese. This equates to 13% of the global adult population.[1] In 2010, overweight and obesity were estimated to cause 3.4 million deaths, 3.9% of years of life lost, and 3.8% of disability-adjusted life-years worldwide, with major healthcare costs implicated. If recent trends continue, it is estimated that there will be 2.16 billion individuals classified as overweight and 1.12 billion as obese by 2030.[2] [3] Obesity in the UK England: In 2016 in England, 40% of men and 30% of women were overweight and 26% of adults were classified as obese, which is a 15% rise since 1993. In 2016/17, 1/5 of children in Year 6 and 1/10 of children in Reception were classified as obese. Obesity prevalence varies by sex, age and by deprivation. In 2016/17, 38% of women in the most deprived areas in England were obese, compared with 20% of women in the least deprived areas. 13% of reception age children living in the most deprived areas were obese compared to 6% of those living in the least deprived areas.[4] Scotland: In 2017 in Scotland, 65% of those aged 16 and over were overweight, including 29% who were obese. There was a significant increase between 2003 and 2008, when prevalence increased from 62% to 65%. Since 2008, prevalence has stabilised, fluctuating between 64% and 65%. In 2017, 26% of children aged 2-15 were at risk of overweight in Scotland, including 13% at risk of obesity.[5] Wales: In 2016 in Wales, 23% of adults were obese, and a further 36% were overweight. 65% of men were either overweight or obese, compared with 53% of women. According to the 2015/16 Child Measurement Programme for Wales, 11.7% of children aged 4-5 are obese, and a further 14.5% are overweight.[6] Northern Ireland: According to the Health Survey Northern Ireland, in 2016/17 27% of those aged 16 and over were obese and a further 36% were overweight, meaning a total of 63% who are either overweight or obese. Men are more likely to be obese or overweight than women. In 2016/17, the survey recorded 8% of children aged 2-10 and 7% of children aged 11-15 as being obese.6 Cost of obesity Obesity costs the NHS more than £6 billion every year, with indirect costs at an estimated £27 billion. More than £14 billion is spent on treatment of type 2 diabetes.[7] More is spent each year on the treatment of obesity and diabetes than is spent on the police, fire and judicial system combined.[8] In 2016/17 there were 617,000 admissions to hospital related to obesity, this has increased by 17% since 2015/16.[9] If obesity rates were to continue unchecked, it is estimated that 60% of adult men, 50% of adult women, and 25% of children in the UK could be obese by 2050. The McKinsey group estimated in 2014 that the total annual economic cost of obesity globally is £1 trillion, and £47 billion in the UK.[10] Causes of obesity Obesity occurs when energy intake from food or drink consumption is greater than the energy expenditure through metabolism or exercise.[11] There are many ways in which we can classify a person’s health in relation to their weight, but the most widely used is Body Mass Index (BMI). Generally, a person is thought to be obese when their BMI exceeds 30 kg/m2. To calculate your BMI, click here. Although a high BMI does not support a definitive diagnosis of obesity, as some people can have excessive muscle, which increases their weight significantly, it is generally a good indication of whether someone is overweight.[12] How does sugar fit in with the obesity epidemic? Excessive unhealthy food and sugars-sweetened soft drink consumption has been linked to weight gain, as it provides a major and unnecessary source of calories with little or no nutritional value. In 2010, WHO commissioned a systematic literature review to answer a series of questions relating to the effects of sugars on excess adiposity.[13] These questions asked whether reducing or increasing intake of dietary sugars influences measures of body fatness in adults and children, and whether the existing evidence provides support for the recommendation to reduce intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy. Body fatness was selected as an outcome in view of the extent to which comorbidities of obesity contribute to the global burden of non-communicable disease. The result of the meta-analysis suggests that intake of sugars is a determinant of body weight in free living people consuming ad libitum diets. The data suggest that the change in body fatness that occurs with modifying intake of sugars results from an alteration in energy balance rather than a physiological or metabolic consequence of monosaccharides or disaccharides. Owing to the multifactorial causes of obesity, it is unsurprising that the effect of reducing intake is relatively small. However, when considering the rapid weight gain that occurs after an increased intake of sugars, it seems reasonable to conclude that advice relating to sugars intake is a relevant component of a strategy to reduce the high risk of overweight and obesity in most countries. Furthermore, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) reviewed randomised control trials, which indicated that consumption of sugars-sweetened beverages, as compared with non-calorically sweetened beverages, results in weight gain and an increase in BMI in children and adolescents. Prospective cohort studies also generally confirm the link between sugars-sweetened beverages and increased obesity.[14] Current dietary advice: We currently consume far too much sugar in the UK diet. The report published by WHO and by SACN highlight the need for a reduction in sugar intake to 5% of our energy intake.[15] This is equivalent to 7 teaspoons/cubes or 30g of sugar per day for an adult. The recommendation for children is 24g for children aged 5-11 and 19g for children aged 4-6. This 5% limit is far below the current intake which is of 11.9% in children aged 1.5 to 3; 14.7% in children aged 4 to 10; and 15.6% in children 11 to 18. It is also thought that adherence to the 5% recommended sugar intake would halt the increase in obesity.[16] To further reduce the increase in obesity, doctors recommend that patients: Eat a lower calorie diet. For most men, this means sticking to a calorie limit of no more than 1,900kcal a day, and 1,400kcal for most women. To maintain a healthy weight it is recommended that women consume around 2000 calories per day and men consume around 2500 calories. It is important to reduce calorie intake from sugary, fatty foods and increase intake from vegetables and complex carbohydrate foods.[17] Keep active. Adults aged 19 to 64 should be active daily and should be doing 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. To stay healthy or improve health, adults need to do 2 types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strength exercises.[18] Join a counselling or support group. It has been shown that supportive communities are key in shaping people’s lifestyle and dietary choices.13 For more information on achieving a healthy balanced diet, click here. References: [1] WHO.2018.Obesity and overweight: [2] Mokdad et al.2016. Health in times of uncertainty in the eastern Mediterranean region, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013: [3] Kelly et al.2008.Global Burden of Disease: [4] NHS Digital.2018. Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet – England: [5]Scottish Government. 2018 Health of Scotland's population – Obesity: [6] UK Government.2018.Obesity Statistics: [7] Cost of Diabetes: [8]UK Government. 2017. Health matters: obesity and the food environment: [9] NHS Digita;.2018. Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet - England: [10] Dobbs et al.2014. "How the world could better fight obesity." Mckinsey&Company: [11] SACN.2015. Carbohydrates and Health Report: [12] NHS Choices, 2016. Obesity. [13] Te Morenga et al. 2013.Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies: [14] NHS Choices, 2016. Obesity: [15] Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). 2014. Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: [16] UK Government.2018. NDNS: results from years 7 and 8 (combined): [17] NHS.2016. Healthy weight: [18] NHS.2018. Exercise:

Coronavirus: Does being overweight or obese affect how ill people get?

Being obese is known to increase the risk of a number of diseases, including heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Early research suggests it may also make people more ill with Covid-19, but why is this the case? Is there evidence obesity is a risk for the virus? This question has been the subject of many studies as experts try to work out the answer. In a study of nearly 17,000 hospital patients with Covid-19 in the UK, those who were obese - with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 - had a 33% greater risk of dying than those who were not obese. A separate study of NHS electronic health records found a doubling of the risk of dying from Covid-19 among people who were obese. If other health conditions linked to obesity such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes were also taken into account the risk would be even higher, the researchers said. And a study of critically ill patients in UK intensive care units found that nearly 34.5% were overweight, 31.5% were obese and 7% morbidly obese (a total of 73%), compared to 26% with a healthy BMI. These figures compare to 64% overweight and obese in the UK population - 35% with a BMI of 25-29 and 29% with a BMI of 30 or higher. Body mass index is calculated as someone's weight in kilograms divided by their height in metres squared. Given high rates of global obesity, the World Obesity Federation says a high percentage of people who contract coronavirus "will also have a BMI over 25". Early studies from the US, Italy and China also suggest it is an important risk factor. Ageing, being a man and underlying health issues all increase the risk of becoming more seriously ill from Covid-19. A SIMPLE GUIDE: How do I protect myself? AVOIDING CONTACT: The rules on self-isolation and exercise HOPE AND LOSS: Your coronavirus stories LOOK-UP TOOL: Check cases in your area STRESS: How to look after your mental health Why is being obese a risk? The more overweight you are, the more fat you're carrying, the less fit you are and the lower your lung capacity. This means it is a bigger struggle to get oxygen into the blood and around the body. This impacts on the heart and blood flow too. "Because people are more overweight, they also have a demand for more oxygen. So that means their system is actually undergoing greater pressure," says Prof Naveed Sattar, from the University of Glasgow. During an infection like coronavirus, this can be serious. "Eventually the obese body becomes overwhelmed by the lack of oxygen getting to the major organs," says Dr Dyan Sellayah, from the University of Reading. That is one reason why overweight and obese people in intensive care are more likely to need assistance with breathing and support with kidney function. Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES What role do fat cells play? Scientists have discovered that an enzyme called ACE2, present in cells, is the main way for the virus to enter the body. Higher levels of this molecule are thought to be found in adipose tissue, or fatty tissue, which people who are obese have more of - under the skin and around their organs. That could be one reason they have a higher risk of catching the disease and a higher risk of being ill with it. Is the immune system affected too? On top of everything else, the ability of the body to fight off the virus - known as the immune response - is not as good in people who are obese. That's due to inflammation driven by immune cells called macrophages which invade our fat tissue. They interfere with how our cells respond to infection. According to scientists, this can lead to a 'cytokine storm' - a potentially life-threatening over-reaction of the body's immune system which causes inflammation and serious harm. A specific type of fat tissue is prone to macrophage invasion. This may explain why people from black, African and ethnic minority backgrounds (BAME), who have more of this type of tissue, "have elevated rates of diabetes, and may be more vulnerable to the virus," Dr Sellayah says. Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES Could there be other hidden problems? Obesity often comes with other health issues, such as a weak heart or lungs, a poorly-functioning kidney or type 2 diabetes. This may not come to light until the development of a severe infection such as Covid-19 and they all put extra stress on the body. Blood clots are also more likely to develop, but it's not clear why. What about hospital care? There can be challenges when it comes to managing patients with obesity in intensive care because it is more difficult to intubate them, and to scan them because of weight limits. Heavier patients may also be more tricky to turn, or prone, in order to relieve their breathing. What can I do to be healthy? The best way is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly. Fast walking, jogging and cycling are good options, even with social distancing measures in force. Otherwise, try to eat slowly and avoid situations where you could be tempted to overeat.

It’s time we were honest about obesity and Covid-19

Difficult facts can be conveyed in a sensitive, non-judgemental and compassionate manner; indeed, this describes the daily practise of medicine. When obesity rears its head, however, a significant number of my colleagues in the health professions display a cognitive dissonance and determination to deprive patients of the unvarnished facts that they would not dare hide with conditions such as cancer. Prioritising their own “feelings”, they patronise the obese by taking offence on their behalf, preferring to virtue-signal, accusing those “ insensitive “ enough to want to state the facts of “fat shaming” or victim-blaming. Then, in an apparent coup de grace, they triumphantly declare that obesity is complex and multifactorial, as though such a declaration signalled that the discussion was over. Normalising obesity does nothing to lessen its impact on our health; it is not desirable that 67 per cent of the UK adult population is obese or overweight. Obesity is a risk factor for coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, 11 forms of cancer, adverse pregnancy outcomes and complications from routine surgery. I was shocked last year when Cancer Research UK was accused of fat shaming for telling the truth about obesity and cancer risk. Is it “cancer-shaming” to tell someone they have cancer and to advise them of their options? True (not imagined) “fat shaming” is the deliberate denigration of a fat person on account of their appearance and should not be tolerated. The sensitive, empathetic communication of the reality of obesity and its implications, however, should be of the utmost priority for clinicians when treating their patients. Two days ago a Twitter storm (on one hand, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, Cardiologist and outspoken advocate of a particular mode of eating, on the other hand, multiple members of the medical/nursing profession, with esteemed members of the public piling in on both sides) erupted after a large consignment of Krispy Kreme donuts was delivered to a hospital for the staff to enjoy. Harmless enough one would think, until one remembers that 25 per cent of nurses and 15 per cent of other medical staff are obese. Or that obese people are 2-6 times more likely to require hospitalisation if infected with Covid 19 and have a more severe course including need for intubation. Once intubated, they are more likely to experience complications. Furthermore, higher blood sugars, particularly induced by eating refined sugars in collaboration with endocrine disruptor chemicals, most pronounced in people with insulin resistance (precursor to type 2 diabetes), not all of whom will be obese, is associated with disrupted activity of cells of the immune system responsible for fighting infection, something we would surely want to avoid at this time? We have already lost 119 healthcare professionals to Covid-19 and front line staff are at highest risk of infection. Surely the priority should be to minimise their risk as much as possible? I found it odd that so many of the people opposing his message which admittedly was expressed in robust and strident manner but minus “fat-shaming”, deliberately forget this, or worse, are unaware of it. The complete disdain for the health of their own colleagues, already struggling with health issues that put them at risk for COVID 19 complications by, in some cases, disregarding their contribution to the statistics, was disturbing to behold, as was “ defiant” exhibitionism of the kind that could adversely affect anyone with an eating disorders. In a free society, we should all be able to choose what we put in our mouths. I have no time for “sugar taxes” or any other manifestation of the nanny state. It is not choice however, when during a busy shift, you are surrounded by carefully designed, hyperpalatable, addictive, cheap processed foods, that take advantage of brain biochemistry to induce dependence that are injurious to human health. We have a wonderful opportunity, during this pandemic, to support healthy behaviour in both healthcare workers and those at home, but this requires candour. Insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes, which is also associated with dysfunction of immune cells when infection is present, can be positively affected by eating the right foods and anecdotal evidence that evidence of benefit may begin to manifest itself within 21 days. Further weight gain and high blood sugar levels, especially in those with diabetes or insulin resistance, can be minimised, with the right foods. Do our NHS health workers deserve any less? Why is no one demanding that Trusts ensure the highest quality food be made available for those at the front line? Are we really going to allow a politically-correct, perpetually offended, minority of individuals among the health professions, most of whom aren’t even obese, to stop the dissemination of the facts, just because their delicate sensibilities are hurt? I have never, in clinical practise, ever met an obese patient who objected to the facts, provided they were delivered with respect, courtesy and compassion. As an obese clinician myself, I have personal insight into this. “First do no harm” is the first principle of medicine. Fifty years ago, cigarettes were designated harmless, their use defended by the medical profession, despite the health concerns, and patients paid the price; today, processed food is “part of a balanced lifestyle”. Why do people have to be harmed while we wait for the medical profession to catch up with the science? There are those who wish to suppress legitimate discussion, by calculated faux outrage. Facts, I’m afraid, don’t care about your feelings.

SARAH VINE: Who'll dare to face the facts on obesity and Covid-19?

With each day that passes, with each new grim death toll, we learn a little bit more about the nature of this ghastly virus. This week in particular, statistics have come to light showing that obesity is emerging as one of the biggest risk factors for Covid-19. According to data released by the NHS, being overweight raises the chances of dying in hospital from the illness by 40 per cent. Having a body mass index of between 30 and 34 makes a person almost twice as likely to be admitted to ICU as someone with a BMI under 30. For those with a BMI of 35 or more, the likelihood is nearly four times higher. Obesity is emerging as one of the biggest risk factors for the coronavirus pandemic +5 Obesity is emerging as one of the biggest risk factors for the coronavirus pandemic Data shows have a 40 per cent more chance of dying in hospital from coronavirus if you are overweight, according to NHS data +5 Data shows have a 40 per cent more chance of dying in hospital from coronavirus if you are overweight, according to NHS data This is a very tricky piece of information for the Government to handle. Obesity is a highly politicised issue: ‘fat-shaming’ is one of the more heinous crimes against political correctness. The notion that the medical establishment is acutely aware of the newly discovered risks of obesity, yet fearful of talking about it, was reinforced by a conversation I had last week with a friend who is a leading bariatric surgeon. ‘It’s a very difficult subject to broach,’ he told me, ‘and no one quite wants to say it, but there’s no question in the mind of any of my colleagues: patient size is a major factor in this disease.’ As the UK has the highest proportion of seriously overweight people in Europe, this is of grave concern. Yesterday, an NHS report said 67 per cent of men and 60 per cent of women here are overweight or obese. It means that as a population in general, we are inherently more at risk of dying from coronavirus. Yet persuading people to accept that their weight can be a major health issue is very hard indeed. That is because size is deeply bound up in psychological issues and self-esteem. Fat people, as I know from a lifetime’s struggle with the scales myself, can be very defensive about their condition. We interpret any concern about our weight as negative criticism, an attack on our identities. Big people — and in particular bigger women — have become so sacred that none but the most bigoted would dare criticise. I know how joyless life can be when you feel — as so many do — that your only friend is the tub of ice cream in the freezer. That is why I’ve always felt that obesity was in effect an eating disorder that needs to be managed as much in the mind as in the body. For any politician — especially a lean male such as Health Secretary Matt Hancock — to have to step into this minefield is tough. It’s hard enough having to ask the over-70s to shield themselves; can you imagine the hysteria if he asked the obese to do the same? Or suggested that people should isolate according to their weight, rather than their age? Can you imagine if Matt Hancock asked people struggling with obesity to shield themselves and social distance from the virus like he has done with the over-70s? +5 Can you imagine if Matt Hancock asked people struggling with obesity to shield themselves and social distance from the virus like he has done with the over-70s? But if the science is correct, maybe that should be the strategy. Because there is one fundamental difference between the obese and the over-70s. Age is not a choice. Size, ultimately, is. For the past six weeks, the nation has talked of nothing else but ‘saving our NHS’. Yet for a decade we have been bringing the NHS to its knees by refusing to take personal responsibility for obesity. It puts us at increased risk of developing cancers, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes — conditions that cost the health service billions of pounds a year. So if we really want to protect the NHS, those of us who are overweight or obese can start by taking a deep breath, stepping on those scales and beginning the long, hard journey back to health. The virus may be tailing off now but a second wave is expected in the winter. There are a good few months between now and then. If you can be inspired to lose weight, you might not only help to save the NHS. You might just be saving yourself.

Being male or overweight can lead to more serious COVID-19 hospital admissions, UK research shows

New UK research has found that being male or obese reduces chance of survival from severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19). According to the Department of Health COVID-19 can be more severe in older people and people with chronic heart, lung, and kidney disease, a weakened immune system, diabetes, and some cancers. However, less is known about how the virus exploits age, sex and other underlying health conditions. In an effort to better describe who are most severely affected by the virus affects, what happens to them in hospital and why some people have better outcomes than others, ISARIC4C, a consortium of researchers from the University of Liverpool, University of Edinburgh and Imperial College London, have analysed data obtained from 16,749 COVID-19 patients in the UK. The analysis is based on information obtained by over 2,500 research nurses and medical students from 166 UK hospitals. It is the largest study of its kind outside of China, where this coronavirus first emerged. The results of the study have already been shared with UK Government and World Health Organisation, and are being compared with data from other countries around the world. The study is being led by Professor Kenny Baillie at Edinburgh University, Professor Calum Semple at Liverpool University and Professor Peter Openshaw at Imperial College London. The analysis that found the relationship between sex, obesity and poor outcome was done by Dr Annemarie Docherty and Professor Ewen Harrison at Edinburgh University. The researchers have found that after adjusting for other medical problems such as lung, heart and kidney disease that are already known to cause poor outcomes, being male or obese is a significant factor associated with death in UK hospitals, a feature not seen in China, where it is thought that fewer people are obese. Although the reasons for why obese people are suffering such severe COVID-19 and dying more than other groups are not clear, the researchers believe it could be because they have reduced lung function and possibly more inflammation in adipose tissue – the fatty tissue under the skin and around internal organs – which might contribute to an enhanced ‘cytokine storm’ – a potentially life-threatening over-reaction of the body’s immune reaction which causes harm. Professor Calum Semple, University of Liverpool, said: “One in three people admitted to hospital with of COVID-19 in the UK have contributed to this vital research. The contribution of UK patients in such tragic circumstances been critical to improving the global understanding of this terrible disease. We must do everything humanly possible to understand this disease, so that we are better prepared for the next wave of this pandemic.” Dr Annemarie Docherty, University of Edinburgh, said: “Hard data cannot convey the human story of individuals and their loved ones who have suffered, changed or sadly passed due to COVID-19. Yet with every contribution to this important study, patients and their carers, with the assistance of dedicated researchers, have struck a blow in the fight to curb this pandemic.” Professor Peter Openshaw, Imperial College London, said: “This study is quite amazing in that it was launched with such speed and collected so much data. It highlights several crucial questions which researchers, healthcare professionals, the public and patients need answers to. Our research provides an exceptional picture of the illness and risk factors and will underpin a huge range of research. We really appreciate the huge effort that so many people made to send in clinical information and collect samples. It is salutatory to recognise that people risked their lives to collect material for this study. We thank them all as well as the funders, the patients and their relatives, and promise that we will do all we can to find ways to fight the disease.” Dr Kenneth Baillie, University of Edinburgh, said: “There are some things that the UK does very well – working together is one of them, particularly in healthcare. Gathering this information took tremendous dedication and effort from thousands of research staff across the UK. Together they have created an open resource that will be used by scientists across the world to better understand this new disease.”


Obesity is a major public health problem, both internationally and within the UK. Being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk of a number of common diseases and causes of premature death, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The risk of poor health is strongly correlated with body mass index (BMI). Childhood obesity is associated with various health conditions, including asthma, early onset type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors. Children who are obese are also more likely to suffer from mental health and behavioural problems. In addition, being an obese child can have long-term health consequences, as childhood obesity is a strong predictor of adult obesity. In 2016, the government launched Childhood obesity: a plan for action, which set out a number of actions primarily focused on reducing sugar consumption and increasing physical activity among children. In June 2018, an update to the action plan was published, setting a national ambition to "halve childhood obesity and reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030". How has the proportion of adults who are overweight and obese changed over time? 26/02/2020 Chart • QualityWatch Proportion of adults aged 16 and over Underweight Normal Overweight Obese 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% © Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation Source: NHS Digital, Health Survey for England 2018 ShareRead more Share Get URL Embed Copy Flip The Health Survey for England collects height and weight measurements from a representative sample of the general population, which are used to calculate body mass index (BMI) statistics. This measure allows us to estimate the proportion of the population who are overweight (BMI ≥25kg/m2 to <30kg 2)="" or="" obese="" (≥30kg/m2).="" this="" indicator="" shows="" trends="" in="" obesity="" and="" overweight="" in="" adults="" from="" 1993="" to="" 2018.="" the="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" increased="" sharply="" between="" 1993="" and="" 2000,="" with="" a="" slower="" rate="" of="" increase="" after="" that.="" in="" 2018,="" 36%="" of="" the="" adult="" population="" were="" overweight="" and="" 28%="" were="" obese.="" comparing="" men="" and="" women="" in="" 2018,="" 29%="" of="" all="" adult="" women="" were="" obese="" and="" 30%="" were="" overweight,="" whereas="" 26%="" of="" adult="" men="" were="" obese="" and="" 41%="" were="" overweight="" (data="" not="" shown).="" how="" has="" the="" proportion="" of="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" who="" are="" overweight="" and="" obese="" changed="" over="" time?="" 26/02/2020="" chart="" •="" qualitywatch="" proportion="" of="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" underweight="" healthy="" weight="" overweight="" obese="" 2006/07="" 2007/08="" 2008/09="" 2009/10="" 2010/11="" 2011/12="" 2012/13="" 2013/14="" 2014/15="" 2015/16="" 2016/17="" 2017/18="" 2018/19="" 0%="" 20%="" 40%="" 60%="" 80%="" 100%="" ©="" nuffield="" trust="" and="" health="" foundation="" source:="" nhs="" digital,="" national="" childhood="" measurement="" programme,="" england="" shareread="" more="" share="" get="" url="" embed="" copy="" flip="" the="" national="" childhood="" measurement="" programme="" (ncmp)="" collects="" the="" height="" and="" weight="" measurements="" of="" over="" million="" children="" in="" reception="" (aged="" 4-5="" years)="" and="" year="" 6="" (aged="" 10-11="" years)="" in="" state="" schools="" in="" england.="" in="" five="" children="" in="" year="" 6="" (aged="" 10-11="" years)="" were="" obese="" in="" 2018/19="" (20.2%).="" this="" is="" more="" than="" double="" the="" proportion="" of="" children="" in="" reception="" who="" were="" obese="" (9.7%).="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" has="" increased="" by="" 2.7="" percentage="" points="" since="" 2006/07.="" the="" proportion="" of="" children="" who="" were="" overweight="" or="" underweight="" has="" remained="" relatively="" stable="" over="" this="" time="" period.="" overall,="" the="" proportion="" of="" children="" in="" reception="" (aged="" 4-5="" years)="" who="" were="" obese,="" overweight,="" a="" healthy="" weight,="" or="" underweight="" has="" remained="" relatively="" unchanged="" since="" 2006/07.="" in="" 2018/19,="" 12.9%="" of="" children="" aged="" 4-5="" years="" were="" overweight="" and="" 9.7%="" were="" obese="" (data="" not="" shown).="" how="" does="" the="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 4-5="" vary="" by="" deprivation?="" 26/02/2020="" chart="" •="" qualitywatch="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 4-5="" most="" deprived="" least="" deprived="" 2006/07="" 2007/08="" 2008/09="" 2009/10="" 2010/11="" 2011/12="" 2012/13="" 2013/14="" 2014/15="" 2015/16="" 2016/17="" 2017/18="" 2018/19="" 0%="" 2%="" 4%="" 6%="" 8%="" 10%="" 12%="" 14%="" ©="" nuffield="" trust="" and="" health="" foundation="" source:="" nhs="" digital,="" national="" childhood="" measurement="" programme,="" england="" shareread="" more="" share="" get="" url="" embed="" copy="" flip="" there="" is="" a="" strong="" association="" between="" deprivation="" and="" obesity="" in="" children.="" in="" 2018/19,="" the="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 4-5="" was="" over="" twice="" as="" high="" in="" the="" most="" deprived="" areas="" (12.9%)="" compared="" to="" the="" least="" deprived="" areas="" (6.4%).="" the="" government’s="" childhood="" obesity:="" a="" plan="" for="" action:="" chapter="" 2="" has="" set="" a="" national="" ambition="" to="" significantly="" reduce="" the="" gap="" in="" obesity="" between="" children="" from="" the="" most="" and="" least="" deprived="" areas="" by="" 2030.="" between="" 2006/07="" and="" 2018/19,="" the="" gap="" in="" obesity="" prevalence="" for="" children="" aged="" 4-5="" increased="" from="" 4.5="" to="" 6.5="" percentage="" points.="" how="" does="" the="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" vary="" by="" deprivation?="" 26/02/2020="" chart="" •="" qualitywatch="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" most="" deprived="" least="" deprived="" 2006/07="" 2007/08="" 2008/09="" 2009/10="" 2010/11="" 2011/12="" 2012/13="" 2013/14="" 2014/15="" 2015/16="" 2016/17="" 2017/18="" 2018/19="" 0%="" 5%="" 10%="" 15%="" 20%="" 25%="" 30%="" ©="" nuffield="" trust="" and="" health="" foundation="" source:="" nhs="" digital,="" national="" child="" measurement="" programme,="" england="" shareread="" more="" share="" get="" url="" embed="" copy="" flip="" in="" 2018/19,="" the="" prevalence="" of="" obesity="" in="" children="" aged="" 10-11="" was="" 27%="" in="" the="" most="" deprived="" areas="" and="" 13%="" in="" the="" least="" deprived="" areas.="" the="" gap="" in="" obesity="" prevalence="" between="" children="" from="" the="" most="" and="" least="" deprived="" areas="" increased="" from="" 8.5="" percentage="" points="" in="" 2006/07="" to="" 13.9="" percentage="" points="" in="" 2018/19.="" about="" this="" data="" this="" indicator="" story="" presents="" findings="" the="" prevalence="" of="" overweight="" and="" obesity="" for="" adults="" from="" the="" health="" survey="" for="" england="" and="" for="" children="" from="" the="" national="" child="" measurement="" programme.="" the="" health="" survey="" for="" england="" (hse)="" consists="" of="" an="" interview="" at="" which="" height="" and="" weight="" are="" measured.="" this="" enables="" the="" calculation="" of="" body="" mass="" index="" (bmi),="" which="" is="" defined="" as="" weight="" in="" kilograms="" divided="" by="" the="" height="" in="" metres="" squared="" (kg/m2),="" a="" measurement="" which="" is="" used="" to="" define="" overweight="" or="" obesity.="" adults="" were="" classified="" into="" the="" following="" bmi="" groups="" according="" to="" the="" world="" health="" organisation="" (who)="" bmi="" classification:="" underweight="" –="" less="" than="" 18.5kg/m2="" normal="" –="" 18.5="" to="" less="" than="" 25kg/m2="" overweight,="" not="" obese="" –="" 25="" to="" less="" than="" 30kg/m2="" obese,="" including="" morbidly="" obese="" -="" 30kg/m2="" or="" more="" morbidly="" obese="" –="" 40kg/m2="" or="" more="" hse="" data="" up="" to="" and="" including="" 2002="" are="" unweighted,="" and="" from="" 2003="" data="" have="" been="" weighted="" for="" non-response.="" for="" more="" information,="" see="" health="" survey="" for="" england="" 2018,="" overweight="" and="" obesity="" in="" adults="" and="" children.="" the="" national="" childhood="" measurement="" programme="" (ncmp)="" was="" introduced="" in="" 2005/06="" and="" collects="" height="" and="" weight="" measurements="" of="" children="" in="" reception="" (aged="" 4-5="" years)="" and="" year="" 6="" (aged="" 10-11="" years)="" in="" mainstream="" state="" schools="" in="" england.="" the="" programme="" now="" holds="" 12="" years="" of="" data="" and="" annually="" measures="" over="" million="" children.="" the="" national="" participation="" rate="" has="" increased="" from="" 80%="" in="" 2006/07="" to="" 95%="" in="" 2018/19.="" the="" hse="" also="" collects="" data="" childhood="" obesity,="" however="" as="" it="" is="" a="" sample="" the="" estimates="" are="" less="" precise="" than="" those="" for="" ncmp.="" the="" bmi="" classification="" of="" each="" child="" is="" derived="" by="" calculating="" the="" child's="" bmi="" centile="" and="" classifying="" according="" to="" age="" and="" sex="" to="" take="" into="" account="" different="" growth="" patterns="" in="" boys="" and="" girls.="" the="" ncmp="" uses="" the="" british="" 1990="" growth="" reference="" (uk90)="" to="" define="" bmi="" classifications.="" deprivation="" was="" defined="" by="" the="" deprivation="" decile="" of="" the="" lower="" super="" output="" area="" of="" the="" school="" the="" child="" attends.="" it="" is="" likely="" that="" year="" 6="" obesity="" prevalence="" in="" the="" first="" years="" of="" the="" ncmp="" (2006/07="" to="" 2008/09)="" were="" underestimates="" due="" to="" low="" participation.="" this,="" and="" the="" impact="" of="" other="" improvements="" in="" data="" quality,="" should="" be="" considered="" when="" making="" comparisons="" over="" time.="" for="" further="" information,="" see="" the="" national="" child="" measurement="" programme="" -="" england,="" 2018/19:="">

Obesity a deadly risk factor for hospitalised coronavirus patients, study finds

bese people hospitalised with coronavirus are almost 40 per cent more likely to die than slimmer patients, the first major study of such cases in Britain has found. The research on almost 17,000 people admitted to hospital showed that excess weight is one of the most deadly risk factors. The study, which involved 166 UK hospitals, found the average age of coronavirus patients admitted to hospital was 72. Cases typically suffered symptoms for four days before they were hospitalised and spent seven days in hospital, the research found. Overall, 49 per cent of patients have so far been discharged, while 33 per cent have died and 17 per cent were still receiving care when the results were reported.... 

What the NHS says about coronavirus risk to overweight people

The spread of coronavirus remains a priority for public health officials in the UK. Social distancing dominates our everyday lives while experts continue to closely monitor the affect of the virus, also known as Covid-19, on the population. Many are concerned about the impact of the respiratory illness, following reports that some patients have suffered serious health problems as a result of contracting coronavirus. Earlier this month, we shared the NHS view on the risk of such in relation to those who regularly smoke or use vape products, following reports of an increased risk for these individuals. There's also believed to be a higher risk of mortality and serious illness for the elderly and those with autoimmune diseases - who are currently being asked to shield themselves. RELATED ARTICLES An empty Rhyl promenade pictured this week The strict new lockdown rules in Wales explained How to tell if your child has asthma or Covid-19 Some recent studies however suggest that there is perhaps another demographic who have an increased risk of requiring intensive care unit support, for example; those who are overweight or obese. The NHS website makes reference to the connection between weight and coronavirus risks, reminding that patients with certain conditions or characteristics can become seriously ill as a result of catching the virus. It categorises individuals into either "high risk" or "very high risk" groups, with the latter including those with severe lung conditions and some cancer patients. Those considered at high risk, but not as much as those listed above, are typically the over 70s, expectant mothers and individuals who suffer with diabetes - all of whom are encouraged to stay inside their homes unless it's essential. This group also includes patients who "are very obese" though, with this weight defined by the NHS as someone who has a body mass index (BMI) of over 40. BMI, for those aren't familiar with the term, is a measurement that uses height and weight to work out if an individual is of a healthy size - with the NHS offering free BMI calculator services. Typically, the BMI result assigned to each category is as follows: Under 18.5 is considered 'underweight' 18.5 to 24.9 suggests a 'healthy weight' 25 to 29.9 is generally deemed 'overweight' 30 to 39.9 refers to someone being 'obese' 40 and over is considered 'very obese' / 'morbidly obese' The NHS stance on obesity and coronavirus is supported by the other leading health institutions, such the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US. The CDC similarly states that a BMI of over 40 "puts people at higher risk for complications" from Covid-19, recommending those in this demographic to continue taking prescribed medications for any underlying health conditions. Having a weight above what is considered heavy generally increases the chance of underlying conditions - and it is these health issues which then influence the risk of severe illness from coronavirus. RELATED ARTICLES Mum Nichole Doyle and daughter Niamh Doyle-Mills. She wants to kiss coronavirus better so she can cuddle her nain again. Heartwarming video shows toddler's plan to tackle coronavirus Dyfan and Elliw took action to protect their son, Gruff, seen here holding an NHS support poster. Also pictured is the couple’s other son, Iago, 13 Family win battle to shut footpath to protect son from coronavirus It means that not everyone who has a BMI over 30, for example, will suffer from coronavirus complications - but there is a higher risk associated with them, then someone whose BMI is 25. In recent years though, officials have suggested that whilst the majority of the public aren't obese in the UK, they aren't necessarily fit and healthy. Research has shown that the average BMI of an adult here is around 28 - which is near the end of the 'overweight' category. So what about the risk of coronavirus complications for the average person, who may not be obese, but is carrying a few extra pounds? Well studies have suggested that it's not just those who are considered morbidly obese that have an increased risk. Children in all six counties of North Wales are above the national average for obesity Children in all six counties of North Wales are above the national average for obesity (Image: PA) According to a recent French study, for example, even a BMI of around 30 significantly influences the likelihood of developing complications from coronavirus. Researchers analysed the BMI of 124 patients admitted to a particular intensive care facility for the virus, publishing their results earlier this month. They reported that obesity, which they considered a BMI of over 30, was found in 47.6 per cent of cases, with severe obesity, a BMI of over 35, identified in 28.2 per cent of cases. Therefore, according to the researchers, over 75 per cent of admissions to the intensive care facility had a BMI of at least 30. They also noted that the higher the BMI, the more likely the patient was to require invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), concluding that "disease severity increased with BMI." This BMI isn't actually much higher than that of the average person in the UK, so many of us may unknowingly be putting ourselves at greater risk due to our weight. Similarly, as reported by the Express, a recent report by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) found that almost three quarters of people who are severely affected by coronavirus are either overweight or obese. Support the NHS Heroes Help From Home campaign What is the NHS Heroes campaign? The NHS is the very best of us. We watch in awe as they work tirelessly to care for us during these unprecedented times. We’ve never relied on them more. We’ve never needed to thank them more and that's what our Help For Heroes initiative is about. You can show how much you appreciate their efforts by sending them some love, on our Thanks A Million Map Simply add your message of support and send a heart to your postcode area. You can zoom around the map to see how many people from communities around Britain are supporting it, and read other messages. If you're a member of NHS staff you'll find a dedicated section of discounts and money-off deals, just for you, too. But alongside appreciation, the NHS also needs our help - from PPE, to food to keep them going during shifts, medical supplies and more - money can make a big difference. So we have launched NHS Heroes Help From Home - a nationwide drive to raise funds for our NHS frontline, that everyone can get involved in. How it works Donate to NHS Heroes Help From Home from just £2 As a thank you, everyone who donates will be entered into the weekly NHS Heroes Raffle Winners are announced every Thursday at 8:05pm. If you’re a winner, choose to keep your prize or gift to an NHS hero of your choice Find out more at: or click the link on the Thanks a Million map to go direct to the donation site Where do the funds go: Funds raised are in aid of the NHS Charities COVID-19 Appeal, set up by NHS Charities Together. Donations will help take care of the immediate well-being of our NHS frontline heroes as well as provide essential longer-term mental health support . 94% of all donations will go to NHS Charities Together’s COVID-19 Appeal. The remaining 6% will cover the cost of payment processing fees. Some experts have however responded to such research by suggesting that the situation is perhaps more complex than someone's weight simply being the cause of increased risk. In a statement to the Science Media Centre, Professor Duncan Young, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at the University of Oxford, said that the current evidence does not suggest obesity is necessarily linked to severe infection requiring an ICU admission. He explained: "It is well known that for ICU admissions overall extremes of body mass index (BMI) are associated with worse outcomes, so whether this is a Covid-19 effect is hard to say." And in an opinion piece for Wired last week though, registered dietitian nutrionist Christy Harrison also offered some criticism. Amongst the issues she raised was the suggestion that some recent studies are flawed simply because of the way obesity is viewed by healthcare professionals. She said: "Clinician's biases and beliefs about body size are likely to be influencing Covid-19 care decisions for higher-weight people." For example, those with a high BMI may be more likely to get hospitalised "simply because they're viewed as unhealthy and deemed higher-risk patients" by doctors. North Wales Live contacted Public Health Wales, an NHS body, to find out whether those who are just overweight - but not obese - should be concerned about their potential increased risk. A Public Health Wales spokesperson said: "Data around obesity is not being collected at this time. "We are aware that there may be an increased risk to those who are obese, but that risk has not been fully quantified. "Our advice is for all members of the public to follow the general COVID-19 advice which can be found on the Public Health Wales website." 

Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number 1 cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease and other conditions. Four out of 5CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, and one third of these deaths occur prematurely in people under 70 years of age. Individuals at risk of CVD may demonstrate raised blood pressure, glucose, and lipids as well as overweight and obesity. These can all be easily measured in primary care facilities. Identifying those at highest risk of CVDs and ensuring they receive appropriate treatment can prevent premature deaths. Access to essential noncommunicable disease medicines and basic health technologies in all primary health care facilities is essential to ensure that those in need receive treatment and counselling.

Key facts CVDs are the number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2016, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% are due to heart attack and stroke. Over three quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries. Out of the 17 million premature deaths (under the age of 70) due to noncommunicable diseases in 2015, 82% are in low- and middle-income countries, and 37% are caused by CVDs. Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioural risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol using population-wide strategies. People with cardiovascular disease or who are at high cardiovascular risk (due to the presence of one or more risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia or already established disease) need early detection and management using counselling and medicines, as appropriate. What are cardiovascular diseases? Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and they include: coronary heart disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle; cerebrovascular disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain; peripheral arterial disease – disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs; rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria; congenital heart disease – malformations of heart structure existing at birth; deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs. Heart attacks and strokes are usually acute events and are mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain. The most common reason for this is a build-up of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the blood vessels that supply the heart or brain. Strokes can also be caused by bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain or from blood clots. The cause of heart attacks and strokes are usually the presence of a combination of risk factors, such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol, hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia. What are the risk factors for cardiovascular disease? The most important behavioural risk factors of heart disease and stroke are unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol. The effects of behavioural risk factors may show up in individuals as raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, raised blood lipids, and overweight and obesity. These “intermediate risks factors” can be measured in primary care facilities and indicate an increased risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other complications. Cessation of tobacco use, reduction of salt in the diet, consuming fruits and vegetables, regular physical activity and avoiding harmful use of alcohol have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, drug treatment of diabetes, hypertension and high blood lipids may be necessary to reduce cardiovascular risk and prevent heart attacks and strokes. Health policies that create conducive environments for making healthy choices affordable and available are essential for motivating people to adopt and sustain healthy behaviour. There are also a number of underlying determinants of CVDs or "the causes of the causes". These are a reflection of the major forces driving social, economic and cultural change – globalization, urbanization and population ageing. Other determinants of CVDs include poverty, stress and hereditary factors. What are common symptoms of cardiovascular diseases? Symptoms of heart attacks and strokes Often, there are no symptoms of the underlying disease of the blood vessels. A heart attack or stroke may be the first warning of underlying disease. Symptoms of a heart attack include: pain or discomfort in the centre of the chest; pain or discomfort in the arms, the left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back. In addition the person may experience difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath; feeling sick or vomiting; feeling light-headed or faint; breaking into a cold sweat; and becoming pale. Women are more likely to have shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and back or jaw pain. The most common symptom of a stroke is sudden weakness of the face, arm, or leg, most often on one side of the body. Other symptoms include sudden onset of: numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech; difficulty seeing with one or both eyes; difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; severe headache with no known cause; and fainting or unconsciousness. People experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care immediately. What is rheumatic heart disease? Rheumatic heart disease is caused by damage to the heart valves and heart muscle from the inflammation and scarring caused by rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is caused by an abnormal response of the body to infection with streptococcal bacteria, which usually begins as a sore throat or tonsillitis in children. Rheumatic fever mostly affects children in developing countries, especially where poverty is widespread. Globally, about 2% of deaths from cardiovascular diseases is related to rheumatic heart disease. Symptoms of rheumatic heart disease Symptoms of rheumatic heart disease include: shortness of breath, fatigue, irregular heart beats, chest pain and fainting. Symptoms of rheumatic fever include: fever, pain and swelling of the joints, nausea, stomach cramps and vomiting. Why are cardiovascular diseases a development issue in low- and middle-income countries? At least three quarters of the world's deaths from CVDs occur in low- and middle-income countries. People in low- and middle-income countries often do not have the benefit of integrated primary health care programmes for early detection and treatment of people with risk factors compared to people in high-income countries. People in low- and middle-income countries who suffer from CVDs and other noncommunicable diseases have less access to effective and equitable health care services which respond to their needs. As a result, many people in low- and middle-income countries are detected late in the course of the disease and die younger from CVDs and other noncommunicable diseases, often in their most productive years. The poorest people in low- and middle-income countries are affected most. At the household level, sufficient evidence is emerging to prove that CVDs and other noncommunicable diseases contribute to poverty due to catastrophic health spending and high out-of-pocket expenditure. At macro-economic level, CVDs place a heavy burden on the economies of low- and middle-income countries. How can the burden of cardiovascular diseases be reduced? “Best buys” or very cost effective interventions that are feasible to be implemented even in low-resource settings have been identified by WHO for prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases. They include two types of interventions: population-wide and individual, which are recommended to be used in combination to reduce the greatest cardiovascular disease burden. Examples of population-wide interventions that can be implemented to reduce CVDs include: comprehensive tobacco control policies taxation to reduce the intake of foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt building walking and cycle paths to increase physical activity strategies to reduce harmful use of alcohol providing healthy school meals to children. At the individual level, for prevention of first heart attacks and strokes, individual health-care interventions need to be targeted to those at high total cardiovascular risk or those with single risk factor levels above traditional thresholds, such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. The former approach is more cost-effective than the latter and has the potential to substantially reduce cardiovascular events. This approach is feasible in primary care in low-resource settings, including by non-physician health workers. For secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in those with established disease, including diabetes, treatment with the following medications are necessary: aspirin beta-blockers angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors statins. The benefits of these interventions are largely independent, but when used together with smoking cessation, nearly 75% of recurrent vascular events may be prevented. Currently there are major gaps in the implementation of these interventions particularly at the primary health care level. In addition costly surgical operations are sometimes required to treat CVDs. They include: coronary artery bypass balloon angioplasty (where a small balloon-like device is threaded through an artery to open the blockage) valve repair and replacement heart transplantation artificial heart operations Medical devices are required to treat some CVDs. Such devices include pacemakers, prosthetic valves, and patches for closing holes in the heart. WHO response Under the leadership of the WHO, all Member States ( 194 countries) agreed in 2013 on global mechanisms to reduce the avoidable NCD burden including a "Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013-2020". This plan aims to reduce the number of premature deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025 through nine voluntary global targets. Two of the global targets directly focus on preventing and controlling CVDs. Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013-2020 The sixth target in the Global NCD action plan calls for 25% reduction in the global prevalence of raised blood pressure. Raised blood pressure is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The global prevalence of raised blood pressure (defined as systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure more than or equal to 140/90 mmHg) in adults aged 18 years and over was around 24.1% in men and 20.1% in women in 2015. The number of adults with raised blood pressure increased from 594 million in 1975 to 1.13 billion in 2015, with the increase largely in low- and middle-income countries. Reducing the incidence of hypertension by implementing population-wide policies to reduce behavioural risk factors, including harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity, overweight, obesity and high salt intake, is essential to attaining this target. A total-risk approach needs to be adopted for early detection and cost-effective management of hypertension in order to prevent heart attacks, strokes and other complications. The eighth target in the Global NCD action plan states at least 50% of eligible people should receive drug therapy and counselling (including glycaemic control) to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Prevention of heart attacks and strokes through a total cardiovascular risk approach is more cost-effective than treatment decisions based on individual risk factor thresholds only and should be part of the basic benefits package for pursuing universal health coverage. Achieving this target will require strengthening key health system components, including health-care financing to ensure access to basic health technologies and essential NCD medicines. In 2015, countries will begin to set national targets and measure progress on the 2010 baselines reported in the "Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014". The UN General Assembly will convene a third high-level meeting on NCDs in 2018 to take stock of national progress in attaining the voluntary global targets by 2025.

NO HOPE Shock figures reveal 90% of New York’s ventilated coronavirus patients DIED with obesity a major cause

NEARLY 90 per cent of all coronavirus patients on a ventilator in New York died - with obesity being a major cause. A study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, revealed the shocking figures after the electronic health records of 5,700 patients hospitalized at Northwell Health in the city were examined. ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates A nurse operates a ventilator for a patient with COVID-19 who went into cardiac arrest 8 A nurse operates a ventilator for a patient with COVID-19 who went into cardiac arrestCredit: AP:Associated Press A nurse looks over at a COVID-19 patient who is attached to a ventilator in the emergency room in St Joseph's Hospital 8 A nurse looks over at a COVID-19 patient who is attached to a ventilator in the emergency room in St Joseph's HospitalCredit: AP:Associated Press The outcome of treatment was known for 2,634 patients. The research showed that overall, roughly 20 per cent of patients with Covid-19 treated at Northwell Health died. But the death rate shoots up to 88 per cent for those who were placed on a ventilator. For those aged over 65 and who had been on a ventilator, the figure rises even higher to 97 per cent. The study found that approximately 12 per cent of all patients in the study required a ventilator. It also revealed that 94 per cent of those hospitalized had some sort of underlying health condition. 8 Of those, 57 per cent had high blood pressure, 42 per cent were obese and 34 per cent were diabetics. The researchers said: “Of the patients who died, those with diabetes were more likely to have received invasive mechanical ventilation or care in the ICU compared with those who did not have diabetes.” Roughly a third of all patients arrived with a fever, while 17 per cent were breathing rapidly and another 30 per cent required extra oxygen. Men were found to die more often than women but no one under the age of 18 died, the study showed. About 14 per cent of patients needed intensive care while three per cent needed intensive dialysis. The researchers wrote in the report: “This study reported mortality rates only for patients with definite outcomes (discharge or death), and a longer-term study may find different mortality rates as different segments of the population are infected.” Karina Davidson, one of the study’s authors and senior vice president for the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, which is part of the Northwell Health system, told Time: “This is a very serious disease with a very poor outcome for those who have severe infections 

“We want patients with serious chronic disease to take a special precaution and to seek medical attention early, should they start showing signs and symptoms of being infected. "That includes knowing that they’ve been exposed to someone who has this virus.” New York has been the hardest-hit state with the coronavirus outbreak with 481 new deaths over the past 24 hours, taking its total to 14,828. A portable kidney dialysis machine is moved by a hospital staff member 8 A portable kidney dialysis machine is moved by a hospital staff memberCredit: Getty Images - Getty A nurse adjusts intravenous drug dosages being given to a COVID-19 patient 8 A nurse adjusts intravenous drug dosages being given to a COVID-19 patientCredit: Getty Images - Getty A respiratory specialist operates a ventilator for a patient with Covid-19 8 A respiratory specialist operates a ventilator for a patient with Covid-19Credit: AP:Associated Press 8 Play Video Shocking footage shows coronavirus patients treated in CORRIDORS of ‘war zone’ NYC hospital as death tolls soars past 1,000 

Obesity rivals smoking as cause of cancer, UK charity warns

Obesity is rivalling smoking as a cause of cancer, responsible for more cases of bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver cancer than cigarettes, according to the UK’s leading cancer charity. Smoking is still the biggest cause of cancer, but Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has warned that government action to tackle obesity is vital, because it is a significant factor in 13 different types of cancer. Obese people now outnumber smokers by two to one. Michelle Mitchell, the charity’s chief executive, said: “As smoking rates fall and obesity rates rise, we can clearly see the impact on a national health crisis when the government puts policies in place – and when it puts its head in the sand. “Our children could be a smoke-free generation, but we’ve hit a devastating record high for childhood obesity, and now we need urgent government intervention to end the epidemic. They still have a chance to save lives.” Excess weight causes about 1,900 more cases of bowel cancer than smoking in the UK each year, said CRUK. There are also 1,400 more cases of kidney cancer caused by excess weight than by smoking each year, 460 more ovarian cancers and 180 more cases of liver cancer. Advertisement The charity issued its warning as figures were released by Public Health England and the Office for National Statistics showing the decline in smoking in the UK. There has been a big reduction in the overall smoking rate to 14.7% last year, down five percentage points from 2011. Across the UK, 26% of the adult population were classified as obese in 2016, while 40% of men and 30% of women were overweight. Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said: “Although cancer survival is at a record high, this significant progress is in danger of being undone by the fast-growing epidemic of obesity, given excess weight is linked to 13 types of cancer. “This study is further proof that obesity is the new smoking, and the NHS can’t win the ‘battle against the bulge’ on its own; families, food businesses and government all need to play their part if we’re to avoid copying America’s damaging and costly example.” Caroline Cerny of the Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of more than 40 health organisations, said: “The causes of obesity are complex, but we know that the environment we live in plays a huge role, and currently this is heavily skewed towards unhealthy options. This is why we need the government to push on with plans to bring in a 9pm watershed on junk food adverts on TV and online, reduce the amount of unhealthy food promoted in supermarkets, and take sugar out of everyday food and drinks.” 

COVID-19 is hitting some patients with obesity particularly hard Emerging data show BMI plays a role in who needs intensive care and who survives

As part of the COVID-19 response team at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif., Nivedita Lakhera wasn’t prepared to see her intensive care unit filled with so many young patients. Many of those patients had no medical condition other than obesity. “They are young and coming to the ER and just dropping dead,” she says. Age, particularly those over 65, as well as having a compromised immune system are still major risk factors for being hospitalized with, and dying from, COVID-19. But some doctors say that some of their sickest patients are those under 60 who are obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of high-risk individuals includes the severely obese, defined as people with a body mass index, or BMI, over 40. While studies on coronavirus often focus on demographic breakdowns such as age, sex and race (SN: 4/10/20), some now are starting to track COVID-19 patient BMIs. For instance, of 180 patients hospitalized from March 1 to March 30, the most prevalent underlying condition for adults ages 18 to 49 was obesity. Of 39 patients in that age range, 23, or 59 percent, were obese, researchers report in the April 17 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “BMI is the Achilles’ heel for American patients,” says Jennifer Lighter, an epidemiologist at New York University’s Langone School of Medicine. That could be a crucial factor in the death toll, particularly for those under 60, she says. “In China it was smoking and pollution, and Italy had a larger older population, and many grandparents lived with extended families. Here, it’s BMI that’s the issue.” Trustworthy journalism comes at a price. Scientists and journalists share a core belief in questioning, observing and verifying to reach the truth. Science News reports on crucial research and discovery across science disciplines. We need your financial support to make it happen – every contribution makes a difference. SUBSCRIBE OR DONATE NOW In the United States, 42 percent of adults have a BMI over 30, the threshold for obesity, and more than 9 percent are classified as severely obese with a BMI over 40, according to the CDC. People with obesity can have other high-risk health conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes (SN: 3/20/20). But some doctors suggest a high BMI should be a risk factor in itself. Lighter and her colleagues found that patients under 60 with a BMI over 35 were at least twice as likely to be admitted to the ICU for coronavirus than patients with healthy BMIs, the researchers report April 9 in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Those same patients were three times more likely to die from the infection than those with a lower BMI, she says. The team tracked 3,615 people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at a New York City hospital from March 4 to April 4. Of those, 1,370, or 38 percent, were obese. In patients over 60, weight did not appear to be a factor in hospital admission or the need for intensive care, she says. A hospital in Lille, France, also found that the higher the BMI, the more likely a patient needed to be ventilated. Of 124 patients admitted to intensive care for COVID-19, almost half were obese or severely obese, researchers report April 10 in Obesity. Of the 85 patients who were intubated, nearly 90 percent had a BMI over 35, the data show. “The need for invasive mechanical ventilation was associated with severe obesity and [was] independent of age, sex, diabetes and hypertension,” the study says. Sanjum Sethi, a cardiologist at Columbia University Medical Center, says his hospital is seeing a surprising number of younger patients with obesity, but no other conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. On April 12, he tweeted that, for obese patients, “the prognosis is extremely grim. They are NOT dying from comorbidities. They are dying from COVID-19.” People with a high BMI already tend to have problems breathing; they carry more weight on their chest, which compresses the lungs. Because COVID-19 is mainly a respiratory disease, that may put heavier patients at a disadvantage, doctors say. Obese people “already have lower oxygen levels, they are predisposed to pulmonary dysfunction, and they have decreased chest function because of the weight on their chest. And many have sleep apnea. So they’re at pulmonary risk already,” says Samuel Klein, a gastroenterologist and the director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. See all our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak Public health officials say people with obesity shouldn’t feel stigmatized or avoid seeking medical care; it’s important to be aware of threat COVID-19 poses. People with high BMIs might want to practice extra caution, wear a mask outside and have groceries delivered instead of going out into public, Sethi says. “I worry this is going to have even more impact where obesity is more endemic, like in the South,” he says. The data should be a wake-up call for people with obesity, agrees Donna Ryan, president of the London-based World Obesity Federation. “If they do develop fever or shortness of breath, they should not hesitate, call their doctor and get tested.” Doctors might take specific measures when treating obese patients for COVID-19, says Rekha Kumar, an obesity specialist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. That might include giving them oxygen early or keeping them in the hospital longer. 

Obesity 'causes more cases of some cancers than smoking'

I'mObesity now causes more cases of four common cancers in the UK than smoking, according to a charity. Cancer Research UK says bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver cancers are more likely to have been caused by being overweight than by smoking tobacco. It says millions are at risk of cancer because of their weight and that obese people outnumber smokers two to one. But its new billboard campaign highlighting the obesity-cancer risk has been criticised for fat-shaming. It is not the first time the charity has been accused of fat-shaming. In February, comedian and campaigner Sofie Hagen took to Twitter to criticise the campaign. One Twitter user, @KenLynch73, said linking obesity with cigarette-style branding was a new low. Cancer Research UK says it is not about blaming people for being overweight. Nor is it suggesting that smoking and obesity are directly comparable in terms of cancer risk. Both increase a person's risk. But it says being overweight or obese causes around 22,800 cases of cancer each year, compared to smoking which causes 54,300. For the four highlighted cancers:- Bowel - Of around 42,000 new cases, being overweight or obese causes 4,800, smoking 2,900 Kidney - 12,900 in total; being overweight or obese causes 2,900, smoking 1,600 Liver - 5,900 in total; being overweight or obese causes 1,300 cases, smoking 1,200 Ovarian - 7,500 in total; being overweight or obese causes 490 cases per year, smoking 25 Smoking remains the UK's leading preventable cause of cancer overall. Obesity ranks second, says CRUK. But while smoking rates are decreasing, obesity is increasing, which health experts agree is concerning. Their warning comes as Tory leadership contender Boris Johnson vowed to not to extend the sugar tax without a review. When asked about plans to extend the tax on soft drinks to milkshakes, Mr Johnson mocked his own weight and said he was "very, very reluctant" to imposes taxes that "clobber those who can least afford it". He suggested we "encourage people to walk, cycle and generally do more exercise". Media captionIn 2018, Cancer Research UK said around 38% of all cancers diagnoses could have been prevented Just over one in four UK adults are obese. In the UK, there are about: 13.4 million obese adults who do not smoke 6.3 million adult smokers who are not obese 1.5 million obese adult smokers While the link between obesity and cancer is well established, the biological mechanisms behind it are not yet fully understood. Fat cells make extra hormones and growth factors that tell cells in the body to divide more often. This increases the chance of cancerous cells being made. Physical activity probably plays a role too, experts say. Is it wrong to be blunt about obesity? Alcohol breast cancer link 'not well known' Being overweight or obese does not mean a person will definitely develop cancer but it does raise their risk. And this risk is higher the more weight a person gains and the longer they are overweight for. According to Cancer Research UK, 13 different cancers are linked to obesity: • breast (in women after the menopause) • bowel • pancreatic • oesophageal (food pipe) • liver • kidney • upper stomach • gallbladder • womb • ovarian • thyroid • multiple myeloma (blood cancer) • meningioma (brain cancer) The link between obesity and cancer is in adults only, although a healthy weight is important for children too. Each year in the UK, the charity says, excess weight causes about: 1,900 more cases of bowel cancer than smoking 1,400 more cases of kidney cancer 460 more cases of ovarian cancer 180 more cases of liver cancer Prof Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK's prevention expert, said the government should do more to tackle the UK's obesity problem. The government had been slow to restrict unhealthy food and drink ads, the British Medical Association said. "While we are very much aware of the health risks associated with smoking, less effort has been thrown behind tackling obesity, which is now a major cause of cancer," it said, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: "The NHS can't win the 'battle against the bulge' on its own. "Families, food businesses and government all need to play their part if we're to avoid copying America's damaging and costly example." a paragraph. Click here

Life2Romania Shoebox Projec

This Page has been set up for all of you that want to join us and contribute to the yearly shoebox mission. The shoebox mission was set up 3 years ago after spending some time with a Romanian family in a disadvantaged community. On hearing of how their children were denied gift shoeboxes at Christmas time, we wanted this to change: We were saddened to hear that those with great needs and deserving of a gift weren't receiving them and so we started our own project to ensure a box could be delivered to those particular children. Over the last three years the mission has been a great success and in sending out these shoebox parcels, we've been able to bring the love of Jesus and a little joy to the destitute children who we meet in Romania during our various yearly outreach programs throughout the year with Life2romania. For some children/adults it's the first gift they've ever received. The success of the shoebox mission has meant we've been able to send yearly but more volunteers are needed and are gratefully received. This page aims to hopefully keep you as up to date on news regarding the project, on items needed, meeting dates and we will in turn post pictures of the children receiving the gifts when the boxes are delivered.

How bad are obesity figures in the UK?

How bad are obesity figures in the UK? 26% of UK adults are obese according to recent government reports. The stats below explore just how bad obesity figures in the UK are. 64% of UK adults are overweight or obese in 2017. Overall, 67% of men and 62% of women are classified as overweight or obese. 20% of children in Year 6 are classified as obese. 711,000 admissions to hospital where obesity was reported as a factor, up 15% from 2016/17. 10,660 hospital admissions directly related to obesity in 2017/18, only 100 less than in 2016. 29% of adults are obese, up from 26% in 2016. 64% of UK adults are overweight or obese. Work-related accidents See the details of work-related accidents in 2017. 621,000 injuries occurred at work in 2017/18. 28.2 million days lost to ill health and workplace injuries in 2018/19. £5.2 billion estimated loss due to workplace injury or sickness in 2017/18. 147 workers killed in 2017/18, 10 more than in 2016/17. 621,000 injuries occurred at the workplace in 2017/18, 12,000 more than in 2016/17. Mental health Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to suicide and ischaemic heart disease. Below are some more stats regarding mental health in the UK. 1 in 6 people experienced a common mental health problem within the last week. 1 in 5 women are reported to have mental health problems. 1 in 8 men are reported to have mental health problems. 6,507 suicides in the UK in 2018, almost 700 more than in 2017 (5,821). Three quarters of these suicides in the UK were by men. Cost of health insurance Brits spent £6 billion on voluntary health insurance in 2017, around 3% of overall spending on health care in the UK. We looked into the CPI of health insurance to find out how much inflation is impacting the cost of health insurance in the UK. Using 2015 as a base year, we can see that health insurance costs 21% more in 2019 than it did in 2015 and 5% more than in 2018. Explore the table and graphic below to find out more.







One of the health concerns in children which is increasing day by day is childhood obesity. We all know that obesity leads to a lot of health issues, especially when developed at a very young age. Every parent is concerned about their children's health, but researchers have found that most often they are unable to recognise their child's obesity. In a recent study published in The British Journal of General Practice, it has highlighted that parents are unlikely to recognise childhood obesity in their kids. Play Video 1m 5s Why do so many parents miss their kid's obesity? Research says that parents are unlikely to recognize childhood obesity in their children, which could lead to health concerns. About The Study A study showed that parents are less likely to recognise childhood obesity in their kids. Obesity is one of the major lifestyle diseases in today's time, causing large number of deaths globally. Not only just adults, overweight children are at increased risk of mortality and disease too. (Also read: 6 Activities To Do With Kids When You Are Stuck At Home) jrkc2138 Parents ignore their kid's obesity The study result showed that 31 percent of parents have underestimated their child's weight and 1 percent overestimated this. In terms of acknowledging the extent of a child's obesity, only four parents out of 396 kids with clinical obesity described their child "as being very overweight." Also, the researchers said that parents with a higher body mass index (BMI) were more likely to struggle with the reality of a child's weight. Understanding parents' perceptions, beliefs and attitudes are important in the prevention and intervention of childhood obesity. Researchers also said that parents turn a blind eye to the issue since it's somewhat acceptable in society

Obesity and the coronavirus

There is nothing private about being overweight, much less being obese. In fact, the culture has come to accept obesity. The well-meaning intentions to ban fat-shaming have resulted in unintended consequences. The coronavirus is revealing that lives are being lost in ways that were not initially anticipated. One of the things that the coronavirus has taught us is that being overweight is detrimental to recovery. It is identified as an underlying condition according to medical professionals. People need an unhindered flow of oxygen to the lungs and organs when their immune systems are being challenged. No one wants to be on an oxygen tank or ventilator. Under normal circumstances, to have a healthy oxygen flow in various stages of any illness requires that we move. The weight we carry in our fat-to-body ratio becomes critical. If we are leaner, we move better. Extra pounds literally weigh us down. Critical oxygen flow throughout our bloodstream is diminished. When fatigued, we become abnormally sluggish. The extra helpings that we have been eating for years now reveal themselves. Our weight, or overweight, becomes the enemy and not a comfort zone of plumpness created by a carefree lifestyle of poor eating. Some folks are naturally built heavy. This can happen for a myriad of reasons. They are the exception, not the norm. Stats on obesity need not be reviewed. We can see that we are a nation of overeaters. The error of our ways has been exposed. The coronavirus has doctors taking a second look at how being overweight contributes to the death rate as opposed to those who recover from the illness. Diabetes, which is frequently a result of being overweight, is reportedly prevalent among those who have lost their lives. Some doctors have stated that obesity, which often leads to diabetes, is showing up statistically as contributing to death from the virus. A report published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information states: "Obesity affects lung function and diminishes oxygen exchange." Though a group of doctors reached this conclusion, it screams common sense. Obesity is a negative when it comes to the well-being of the human body. Extra weight puts pressure on organs and joints. It is a fact. Don't succumb to advertisements that display obesity as okay in their effort to demonstrate that they are being culturally correct in opposing fat-shaming. We now know that the cultural shift to regaling unhealthy body types is wrong. Abetting "the disease" helps no one. Being overweight is nondiscriminatory; all races succumb to it. High calories are universal offenders. From those of us who have had to lose pounds to those who are still fighting the weight battle, just know that there is a way. It is within you. For those of us who just look at bread and on put the calories when others don't, find your self-determination to be healthier. It requires personal responsibility to eat a proper diet. We are not all built the same. We don't all metabolize food the same. But we all know that overeating is not a good thing, and we clearly know what poor eating choices will do to most of us. Be kind and encouraging to those who need to win this battle called obesity. None of us is perfect, but we can strive to be healthy. The knowledge being gained by the medical professionals from this virus will result in statistics that will reveal a lot about what we already know. Whether in the blood or on the body, too much fat is a bad thing. It is now time for the culture to correct itself and advocate for a healthier lifestyle. It is time to think of weight not as a measure of beauty, but as a measure of health. Everybody is

Obesity is major COVID-19 risk factor, says French chief epidemiologist

PARIS (Reuters) - Being overweight is a major risk for people infected with the new coronavirus and the United States is particularly vulnerable because of high obesity levels there, France's chief epidemiologist said on Wednesday. Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the epidemic, said as many as 17 million of France's 67 million citizens were seriously at risk from the coronavirus because of age, pre-existing illness or obesity. "This virus is terrible, it can hit young people, in particular obese young people. Those who are overweight really need to be careful," Delfraissy told franceinfo radio. "That is why we're worried about our friends in America, where the problem of obesity is well known and where they will probably have the most problems because of obesity." Delfraissy said 88% of those infected with the coronavirus suffered only severe flu-like symptoms. The mortality rate for young people entering hospital with severe COVID-19 respiratory disease was about 2%, he said, but that rose to 14% for people who are more fragile. Despite the rapid spread of the virus in France, the country is still far from getting to the point where 50% to 60% of the population has been infected and recovered and at which point a certain level of "herd immunity" is reached, Delfraissy said. "Initial data show that the number of people who may have developed immunity is lower than we imagined, about 10-15%," said the veteran infectious diseases specialist who has led French research into Ebola and AIDS. He said it was too soon to end France's lockdown, which started March 17 and is set to last until at least April 15. The council's recommendation was for strict confinement to continue several weeks from now and that before the lockdown could be unwound, pressure on intensive care units (ICU) needed to ease and the spread of the virus slow. On Tuesday, the number of COVID-19 patients in ICU rose by just 59 (1%) to 7,131 but the number of confirmed and probable cases reported nationally jumped by a record 11,059 or 11% to 109,069 as more and more nursing homes declared cumulative data for the first time. A third condition for ending the lockdown was having sufficient stocks of equipment, Delfraissy said, notably masks, testing kits and tools for tracing infected patients. French coronavirus testing capacity has risen from 3,000 per day in mid-March to 30,000 on a daily basis now, and will rise to 100,000-250,000 per day in about two weeks, he said. Obesity has been cited as a possible explanation for higher than average per-capita COVID-19 death rates in the U.S. city of New Orleans and in Mexico. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Richard Lough) Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK Scroll back up to restore default view. The Guardian Police chiefs call on No 10 to tighten UK coronavirus lockdown Vikram Dodd, Gregory Robinson and Jessica Murray The Guardian9 hours ago Photograph: Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock Photograph: Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock Police chiefs want the government to consider toughening coronavirus lockdown restrictions, the Guardian has learned, as they head into the Easter bank holiday weekend with concerns that a growing minority will flout the rules. More stringent restrictions to prevent people driving long distances are among options supported by at least five chief constables who want enforcement action to be bolstered by clearer and tougher government curbs. Other options include using legislation to enforce the order to limit exercise to once a day. Police have sent speed and traffic camera data to the government showing that road use in some areas last weekend was up nearly 10% compared with the previous weekend. Compliance with lockdown restrictions imposed on 23 March is still high, however, with a minority ignoring it to take walks or exercise their dogs far from home, sometimes in groups. It comes as forces created online forms for the public to report potential lockdown breaches. One announcement of the new system, from Cambridgeshire police, met with a backlash online. “I cannot express strongly enough how thoroughly revolting this is,” said one reply with over 100 likes, while another read “They just don’t realise, the only thing they are doing is turning the law-abiding public against them.” Others welcomed the move. The Metropolitan police and forces including Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Avon and Somerset and Kent all offered a similar online service. Cambridgeshire police said: “Like other forces, we’re urging people to use common sense. Please only [use] our online form if there is a significant issue or breach. This may be a large gathering or group of people repeatedly ignoring the restrictions.” With warm weather expected over the long weekend, police are planning to step up the scouring of Britain’s parks, beaches, streets and tourist spots. Julia Mulligan, police and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire, whose force erected vehicle checkpoints at the start of the lockdown, said: “If people don’t stick with the instructions then they [the government] may well have to consider additional measures. Joggers run past beach huts on the front in Hove last weekend. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images Joggers run past beach huts on the front in Hove last weekend. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images “Obviously there is concern. There are plans in place. People should see a lot of yellow vests [officers in high-visibility jackets] on the roads this weekend. There will be a lot of activity on the roads, stopping vehicles.” She added: “There is a lot of preparation to get the message out to people not to visit beauty spots and we have had complaints from farmers who are seeing 20 cars in their lanes and people going walking.” A government reexamination of lockdown powers in England is considering tougher restrictions, like those already in force in Wales. These include restricting exercise to once a day and a stronger duty on public authorities to ensure open spaces, such as parks and other open-air attractions, do not get crowded. One source said the fact it was already in operation in one part of the UK would make its introduction into England more palatable. It was also possible the lockdown could be left as it is. One police leader said that several forces covering partly rural areas believed the government should consider going further and place further restrictions on people justifying their driving by claiming it was to exercise. “We need to say you can’t drive. The burden needs to be on the individual not the state to prove reasonableness,” the police chief said. “If the test changes, a lot less people would think: ‘Rover does not need to be driven to a national park today.’” In some areas, the unregulated holiday lets sector, including Airbnb, continues to hire out properties. “There are still people coming down,” said one senior police officer in a popular holiday area. “People are still driving for a long time under the excuse of exercise and to places they do not need to be. The Easter bank holiday is one of the busiest times of the year. I have no new powers for this weekend. There is a significant risk this weekend of people breaking the lockdown.” The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, suggested further tightening may follow: “The Met Police will be busy patrolling parks and open spaces across London this weekend – urging Londoners to do the right thing and follow the rules. I desperately want us to be able to keep our green spaces open for the millions of people that need them for essential walks and exercise – but that means everyone doing the right thing.” Some London parks closed at the weekend, and police said on Wednesday that 30 people ran from officers after being found playing a cricket match in Kensal Green, north London. We need to say you can’t drive. The burden needs to be on the individual not the state to prove reasonableness Police chief Last weekend, Cumbria reported people travelling long distances, and on Tuesday in Cornwall about 30 surfers were seen on one beach. Malham Cove, in North Yorkshire, had visitors from Oldham, Bradford and Leeds at the weekend, Mulligan said. Police in Suffolk issued 178 warnings on Saturday and Sunday after receiving 119 calls from members of the public reporting people ignoring the restrictions. The county’s assistant chief constable, David Cutler, said those flouting the ban had been condemned on social media. “In a few days’ time it will be the Easter weekend. I hope the negative comments on social media following the last two days, and the number of heart-wrenching testimonies from doctors and nurses treating those suffering from this virus, will cause these individuals to take a long, hard look at their behaviour and consider the danger they are potentially exposing themselves, their families, the public and NHS workers to.” Downing Street also moved to quash reports that schools could be set to reopen after the Easter holidays. Ministers have been carrying out what officials insist is a “nuanced” discussion of the costs and benefits of the lockdown measures, which appear to be flattening the curve of new Covid-19 infections, but have led to mass layoffs across the economy. The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, said on Wednesday: “This will have a significant impact on our economy, and not in an abstract way: it will affect people’s and livelihoods.” Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is understood to have raised the impact of an extended lockdown on child vaccination rates and patients whose elective operations have been cancelled.

Coronavirus could hit Mexico's high obesity, diabetes rates

Lourdes Sanvicente, 45, left, and a coworker wear protective face masks at the direction of the stand's owner, as they sell tamales, sandwiches, and pastries at a street stand in Mexico City, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Sanvicente, who doubts the existence of the new coronavirus, says both she and her husband work as street food sellers, together earning 320 pesos (around $13.50) per day to support themselves and their five children. "There is no other option," she says, "I have to provide for my kids." (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) More MEXICO CITY (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic could be especially deadly in Mexico because of the country's high rates of obesity and diabetes, a coalition of consumer and health advocacy groups said Wednesday. The Alliance for Food Health said in a report that four of the first five coronavirus deaths in Mexico involved people with diabetes. Mexico has the highest diabetes rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and one of the highest obesity rates, with 72.5% of adults overweight or obese. Paulina Magaña, a researcher for Consumer Power, said Mexico's 11 million diabetes cases “make this scenario a petri dish for COVID-19,” the disease caused by the virus. Experts say underlying conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity can make health outcomes far worse for coronavirus patients. For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. Abelardo Ávila, a researcher at the National Institute for Medical Sciences and Nutrition, said, “The majority of the deaths that will occur in Mexico during the current epidemic will be associated with the serious problem of obesity.

Obese or overweight coronavirus patients most in need of critical care Research into the first 196 patients admitted to intensive care units showed most were male, with an average age of 63

Seven in 10 patients admitted to intensive care units in the UK with coronavirus were overweight or obese, the first data on Britain's cases shows. The research - which examined in detail the first 196 patients to receive critical care for the virus - showed the average age of those requiring such care was 63, and seven in 10 cases were male. Current UK health policies to prevent the spread and impact of coronavirus have focused in particular on people over the age of 70, especially those who are frail, and those with underlying health conditions. International research has suggested these groups will see the highest death rates - of up to 15 per cent in the over-80s. However, the national audit suggested many cases so far in the UK involved those who were younger, living independently, and without serious health conditions - other than excess... To continue reading this article... Start your free trial Stay connected with the full, daily digital newspaper and unlimited online articles - free for one month, then from just £3 per week. Start your free trial Already a subscriber? Log in Related Topics Coronavirus, NHS Advertisement More stories Coronavirus lockdown Q&A: walking the dog, moving house, driving and more Premium Coronavirus latest news: NHS Nightingale Hospital to open at ExCel Centre after worst day so far in UK as deaths rise by 87 Coronavirus: Boris Johnson announces three-week UK lockdown Sadiq Khan is having a terrible coronavirus crisis. He must act now to end Tube overcrowding Premium Related Topics Coronavirus, NHS

Having kids increases obesity risk for women

HAVING children is linked to a long-term increased risk of obesity in women. A 2005 study of more than 2,000 women, published in the journal Preventative Medicine, found that for each child a woman has, her risk of obesity increases by 7 per cent. After taking into account factors such as age, marital status and physical activity levels, researchers found that rates of obesity were significantly higher among women who had more children. "Our results suggest pregnant women, especially those with several children, are an important high-risk population for obesity in later life," they said. The weight gain may be caused by insulin resistance, which is greater in women with more children, as pregnancy can alter glucose metabolism. Another cause could be stress. © Solo dmg media ADVERTISING Ads by Teads Enjoy reading the Irish News? Subscribe from just £1 to get full access Subscribe Topics Categories Life 19 March, 2020 01:00 LIFE No Comments Yet You must be logged in to the website in order to post. MORE IN LIFE Life under lockdown: Strabane man tells what it's like from coronavirus-hit Italy Life under lockdown: Strabane man tells what it's like from coronavirus-hit Italy Health Q&A: Morning guy Matt Forsythe is partial to Camembert and crossfit Health Q&A: Morning guy Matt Forsythe is partial to Camembert and crossfit The GP's View: Smokers are vulnerable to Covid-19 danger and should quit urgently

An obesity scheme in Rotherham which was successful in helping people lose weight has has received criticism for going private after losing their NHS funding.

Most people think depression is someone sitting at home doing nothing but in fact depression has many other symptoms. Often people who are depressed become “foodies” who are obsessed with food. Symptoms may also include a loss of interest in hobbies or taking care of themselves, staying up to the wee hours of the morning or going to bed early in the day. It’s estimated that 16.2 million adults in the United States, or 6.7 percent of American adults, have had at least one major depressive episode in a given year. With the current divisiveness in the U.S. and bad news around the Coronavirus more people could easily be depressed. Doctors usually don’t screen for depression or spend enough time with patients to understand their mental health. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines a major depressive episode as at least two weeks of a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities, as well as at least five other symptoms, such as: Sleep issues on an almost daily basis (either difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much). Changes in appetite and weight (change of more than 5% body weight in a month) or a decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day Decreased energy or fatigue almost every day Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and thinking clearly Psychomotor agitation or retardation that is observable by others (slow physical movements or unintentional or purposeless motions) Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for suicide The U.S. has the largest percentage of mentally ill citizens among five countries studied — about 29% of its residents — but scored worst in treating those with serious problems, caring for only one in three people who need it. According to data supplied by the American Psychiatric Association, employees with unresolved depression experience a 35% reduction in productivity, contributing to a loss to the U.S. economy of $210.5 billion a year in absenteeism, reduced productivity, and medical costs. Until we treat the whole person and screen for mental health issues depression will continue to take its toll on healthcare costs and patients. Related Employee mental health is a huge issue Employee mental health is a huge issue February 17, 2020 In "As I See It" Are we losing the war against depression?