A new study out of New York University shows that being overweight is a serious risk factor for hospitalisation with Covid-19. In particular, the researchers have revealed that levels of visceral fat are strongly associated with severity of infection.

The new study is further evidence that being overweight is one of the most serious important factors that predisposes patients to severe illness. Among the risk factors already identified apart from obesity, age, diabetes, high blood pressure and existing heart and lung conditions are the most prominent.

Male sex has also been suggested as a risk factor; although the role of testosterone in either combatting or aiding Covid-19 infection is disputed, as we’ve already examined.

Click here to read about the important role testosterone appears to play in modulating immune response and inflammation. Fascinating new study from 2021!

See the source image
Visceral and subcutaneous fat play different roles in the body.

In the new study, the researchers assessed visceral fat (VAT), subcutaneous fat (SAT) and total body fat levels (TAT) in 51 patients with Covid-19 infection.

The researchers were particularly interested in visceral fat – the fat that surrounds the organs – because unlike subcutaneous (under-skin) fat, visceral fat plays an important role in metabolism and, in particular, in inflammation and immune response.

As the researchers explain,

‘All fat depot[s] in the body are not created equal; they confer different cardiovascular and metabolic risks. Subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) is relatively indolent, whereas visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is metabolically more active tissue that secretes inflammatory cytokines. VAT is linked to metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular impairment, and increased susceptibility to infection and sepsis. Hence, it is of interest to analyze the relationship between the amount of visceral fat and the severity of COVID-19 infection. VAT and SAT can be measured and classified rapidly and accurately using MRI or CT. While it is possible to quantify the amount of adipose tissue within the whole abdomen, several studies have demonstrated that the single-slice measurement made rapidly at the vertebral body L3 or L4 level is an excellent estimate of the abdominal VAT and SAT in both men and women and across the spectrum of obesity.’

The researchers wanted to see if there was a direct relationship between amount of visceral fat and severity of infection with Covid-19.

Demographics of the Covid-19 patients involved in the study

The results showed that visceral fat, as well as visceral fat as a proportion of total fat, was significantly higher in hospitalized patients compared to outpatients (i.e. patients who were not hospitalized).

Visceral fat and total fat levels in hospitalized patients and outpatients

The researchers note that although body-mass index is a readily available method of assessing obesity, it ‘does not capture all elements of obesity’, and this new study shows that a more nuanced metric is likely to involve assessment of relative levels of different kinds of body fat.

Our Ultimate Fat Loss Bundle is the place to go if you want to get serious about losing weight

If you’re worried about being overweight but don’t know what to do about it, the best place to being would be with our Ultimate Fat-Loss Bundle, available now from Gumroad.
You’ll receive products worth over $100 individually, including:

  • A cookbook
  • A comprehensive diet guide
  • A guide to measure and track your progress
  • Five kickass workout programs for your choosing
  • Our guide to keto dieting
  • A lot more

Ultimately, as with all programs, you will have to be honest with yourself in tracking your progress and staying on board. 

If you put in the effort and are true with yourself, you will see results. You’ll look and feel so much better, and your risk from chronic and infectious diseases will be greatly reduced. So what are you waiting for?

Don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] for personalized coaching and a client questionnaire if you’d like DEDICATED tailor-made personal training on strength training, building muscle, losing fat, developing athleticism, and more — all to your liking, lifestyle, habits, and taste!

Otherwise, don’t forget to claim your FREE eBook detailing how to lose 20lb of fat while building muscle in 12 weeks! You can claim it here.

Alternatively, you can pick up a FREE eBook on fundamental strength principles offering an introductory workout program.