World Obesity Federation policy brief on obesity and COVID-19
The World Obesity Federation, in consultation with a range of national and regional obesity groups, released a policy brief in late August 2020. The brief presents compelling evidence on the link between COVID-19 and obesity and calls on the World Health Organization and governments worldwide to integrate obesity treatment and prevention strategies in the COVID-19 response and recovery plans.
Overwhelming evidence shows that obesity is associated with a higher risk for intensive care unit admission and poorer outcomes for COVID-19. Despite the evidence, few national COVID-19 response plans considered obesity prevention and management.
The virus, as well as the measures taken to control its spread, has had a profound impact on people living with obesity. Unsustainable food systems, changes in eating and exercise behaviour in response to lockdowns, increased mental health burden, and a rise in opportunistic marketing and distribution of ultra-processed foods are some of the major challenges exacerbating the risk and the prevalence of obesity.
The brief outlined strategies for win-win policies to reduce COVID-19 risks and promote a healthy diet and physical activity to ensure #HealthForAll. Download the policy brief here.