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Weight and Covid 19 Connection
  • Arati Shah

  • 17, Sep. 2022

Weight and Covid 19 Connection

In the current pandemic, being at home with practically no physical activity and eating just about everything and anything (using food as comfort most of the times) has led to weight gain in many. This is of concern as obesity increases the risk of severe illness from Covid 19. So, losing weight is important. But, one needs to remember that losing weight indiscriminately can affect immunity that needs to be robust during these times. This can be due to the underconsumption of important nutrients that help build immunity. Women have special needs and these could be taken care of by a nutritionist for women who can assist in safe weight loss without compromising on the overall immunity. Similarly, qualified nutritionists are offering online nutrition programs for weight lossto assist many. 

Losing weight contributes to a stronger immune system. So, what is the connection here? Having excess fat especially around a person’smid section or the visceral area can cause an imbalance inthe immune system. The immune system consists of cells, tissues, organs and proteins. There is a certain balance between immune cells which helps in maintaining good health. So, what can tip this balance? Besides other reasons, a bad diet, an unhealthy lifestyle and excess body fat.  

If a person has excessive body fat especially in the visceral area (or as commonly called as abdominal fat), there is a trigger in the production of the pro inflammatory immune cells (cytokines) that cause inflammation in the body. Right from coronary artery disease to type 2 diabetes are as a result of this chronic inflammation in the body. And, weight loss can bring down the pro inflammatory cells.Chronic inflammationalso increases the susceptibility to viruses. But, remember it does not mean that if one loses weight he will not get covid at all. In fact, it just reduces the chances of severe complications.  

So, losing a modest amount of body weight can help in reducing the risk of developing severe complications of Covid 19 and alsohelps in the improvement of recovery rate. Some key points to be kept in mind when one is trying to lose weight during Covid - 19: 

  • Exercise regularly as, within limits it also is beneficial for your immune system. 

  • Don’t fall for fad diets. Any diet that sounds too good to be true is not good for your immune system. These diets are often restrictive. Key food groups are missing from these diets leading to nutrient deficiencies. This has a negative impact on the immune system which is reliant on these nutrients to keep it alive and kicking.  

  • Sleeping sufficiently well has a hand in regulating food intake by keeping the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin in check. In fact, sleep plays a role in strengthening your immune system as per some researchers.  

  • Stress can make you eat more and the wrong kinds of food. Learn how to manage it better. 

To sum this up, keeping your body healthy will keep your immunity alive and kicking in when you need it the most. Look out for online nutrition programs for weight lossto help lose weight and build immunity together.