What’s your Body Mass Index?

It’s a predictor of severe Covid-19 symptoms!

A couple of weeks ago, I heard a couple of frontline docs observe than many of the most severe Covid-19 patients were overweight.

body mass index for adults

Just an anecdote, but I stored it away as a clue.

Well, turns out that there’s data supporting the docs’ anecdotal evidence…


According to Bloomberg

Doctors at the NYU Langone Health analyzed more than 4,000 patients hospitalized with Covid-19.

The most surprising finding was the strong tie between obesity and this critical illness:

  • Those over age 65 or who were significantly overweight, carrying an extra 80 to 100 pounds, were more likely to be hospitalized.
  • Overweight patients who were under age 60 were twice as likely to be hospitalized as their thinner peers
  • Those who were obese were three times as likely to end up in intensive care

“The results make sense because obesity is a pro-inflammatory state: People who carry extra weight have higher levels of immune response and inflammation …  conditions that put them in harm’s way


OK, so what to do?

Step #1: Know your BMI.

Here’s a link to a handy calculator.


Run the numbers, or you can simply slot yourself on the chart above.

Step #2: Know your BMI health status.


Step #3: Take corrective action.

Your BMI is a function of you height and your weight.

I’ve always joked that my weight is fine, it’s my height that’s the problem.

Of course, we can’t do much about our height, so the relevant variable is weight … especially if your BMI is over 30 … slotting you in the obese category.

What to do?

Alleviate the stay-at-home boredom by stepping up your exercise program … or starting one if you’ve been loyally sedentary.

At a minimum, log in FitBit’s 10,000 steps a day … or walk a couple miles each day.

Consider a piece of at-home exercise equipment. Recumbent bikes are good to start  … no worry about back pain or vertigo… convenience racks for books or iPads. Once you have that nailed, consider a treadmill or elliptical.

And, oh yeah, it’s time for a healthy diet.  No fast food, smaller portions, no chips or other comfort foods, nothing more to eat once dinner is done.

Especially these days, fitness matters.

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