Obesity considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The worldwide population is facing a double burden of epidemic, the COVID-19 and obesity. This is even more alarming as obesity increases the COVID-19 severity. However, the relationship between obesity and COVID-19 severity is more complex than a simple association with BMI. In particular, obesity has been associated with low death rates in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, a fatal comorbidity to COVID-19, possibly due to the obesity paradox. Also, visceral adiposity could be a major risk factor for COVID-19 severity, due to its immune activation component, release of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and involvement in the cytokine storm, hypercoagulability and embolism. A poor antioxidant nutritional status also weakens the immune system, increasing inflammation and infection risk. Moreover, the COVID-19 lockdown might impact lifestyle patterns, mental health and weight bias, worsening the obesity then COIVD-19 situation. On the other hand, health care expenses and productivity loss are expected to increase during the concomitant epidemics. The co-occurrence of obesity and COVID-19 is a major challenge at both public health and economic levels that should urgently be taken into consideration. The identification of COVID-19 weight related risk factors and the development of appropriate weight management programs are needed to tackle the concomitant epidemics.