BEING obese or overweight puts you at greater risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19, experts say after examining existing studies.
The review of evidence by Public Health England found excess weight put people at greater risk of needing hospital admission or intensive care.
And the risk grew substantially as weight increased.
The release comes ahead of an expected government announcement of new measures to curb obesity.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said the current evidence was clear, that being overweight or obese puts you at greater risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19, as well as from many other life-threatening diseases.
“Losing weight can bring huge benefits for health – and may also help protect against the health risks of Covid-19,” she said. “The case for action on obesity has never been stronger.”
The UK has one of the highest levels of obesity in Europe. Almost two-thirds of adults in England are overweight or obese, with similar figures in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.